Delta Dental reports a direct link between oral health and food insecurity. The grants will provide funding to food banks in California.

The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation is providing $1.5 million in grants to food banks that touch every county in California. According to Feeding America, California is projected to have the second-highest rate of food insecurity in the country in 2021 with more than 4.7 million households affected.

“As the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of California, the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation is committed to addressing the health of the whole person and providing access to healthy foods is absolutely critical to that effort,” said Kenzie Ferguson, vice president of foundation and corporate social responsibility for Delta Dental of California. “As the effects of the pandemic continue to ripple through our communities, we knew we couldn’t take our foot off the gas in terms of providing support to the organizations that help millions of Californians put food on the table and provide a crucial building block to health.”

Delta Dental of California says it understands that oral health and overall health are closely connected, and there are some direct links between oral health and food insecurity. Those who don’t have regular access to enough food are more prone to tooth decay. Moreover, poor oral health can make it difficult or painful to eat, inhibiting proper nutrition.

Because of that connection, and its commitment to supporting our communities, Delta Dental of California, through the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation, has a long history of giving to food banks. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic impacts, the Foundation has increased that support. On GivingTuesday in 2020, the Foundation announced $2.5 million in grants to food banks across 15 states and Washington, DC, including $725,000 in California, and total giving for the year to fight food insecurity topped $3.5 million. The food banks receiving grants collectively serve every county in California.