Collaboration Provides Optum Patients in Los Angeles County Food and Delivery Service to Combat Food Insecurity.


Optum, a leading health services company, is partnering with Wider Circle and Helping Hands Community to launch the “Community Food Circle” initiative to bring food to its most vulnerable communities in Los Angeles County during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated food insecurity in Los Angeles County. The “Community Food Circle” initiative uses Helping Hands Community’s tech-enabled platform to connect businesses and nonprofits who want to help, with local residents in need to create seamless, organized volunteer efforts.

Optum volunteers from its AppleCare and HealthCare Partners physician groups, Helping Hands Community, Wider Circle staff and other community partners, will pack and load food supplies into Uber vehicles. Uber drivers will then deliver the food to an estimated 7,000 Optum patients across Los Angeles County. Through this ongoing initiative that began in June, more than 60,000 Optum patients have been offered the food delivery service free of charge. Each food package provides an individual 10 days of food.


Community leaders, volunteers, elected officials including:

  • Darin Buxbaum, president, Wider Circle
  • Jaime Ramos, M.D., regional medical director, Optum California
  • Michelle Iafigliola, field operations lead, Southern Calif., Helping Hands
  • A patient receiving food delivery
  • Otto Solorzano, acting director of Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS)

Thursday, June 25, 2020
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

East Los Angeles Service Center
133 Sunol N. Drive
Los Angeles, CA

Brief remarks followed by community leaders, elected officials and volunteers assembling and loading food kits into Uber vehicles. Uber vehicles driving off. Uber vehicles drop off food to patient (separate location).

Social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions will be implemented to ensure a safe event takes place.

About Optum California

Optum California is an integrated health system that serves more than 1.4 million patients across Southern California through its family of medical groups and provider networks, including OptumCare Medical Group, HealthCare Partners, AppleCare Medical Group, Monarch HealthCare and North American Medical Management of California. More information is at

About Wider Circle

Wider Circle works with health plans nationally to deliver unique community care programs that connect neighbors for better health. Centered on trusted relationships, Wider Circle connects health plan members with familiar neighbors to inform, support and motivate one another, empowering them to be more proactive about their health. Wider Circle’s trusted delivery network has been proven to drive resilience, improve member experience and engagement, and reduce hospitalizations. Today, Wider Circle offers its unique neighborhood care programs to more than 135 communities nationwide, including specialized COVID-19 support for vulnerable populations in isolation via virtual programming and peer-to-peer community support.

About Helping Hands Community

Helping Hands Community is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those most vulnerable to COVID-19: senior citizens, the immunocompromised, and people with pre-existing medical conditions which put them at additional risk. Our community of volunteers deliver groceries, medicine, and other necessary supplies, and our local and national partners help us identify and reach those in need wherever they may be. The Helping Hands Community platform makes community volunteerism easy and reliable, while providing a tech-enabled solution for partners to scale their impact. Founded by veterans of Uber, Facebook, and Google and students beginning their careers, the Helping Hands Community comprises more than 150 volunteers from around the world.

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