Team Rubicon, in collaboration with Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), today announced “The COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program.” The program will provide assistance to immunocompromised patients living with cancer, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis whose ability to access or afford food and other nutritional needs are at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This comprehensive program brings together the unique offerings of TR, a nonprofit organization that serves communities by mobilizing veterans to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crises, and PAF, a national nonprofit organization that provides case management services and financial aid to patients with chronic, life-threatening and debilitating illnesses. In execution, the program will leverage TR’s national network of 120,000 volunteers, who are known as Greyshirts and who are primarily veterans, to provide community-based support, such as delivery of food and groceries, free of charge, while PAF will provide financial assistance to patients in need.
“At Team Rubicon, it’s in our ethos to do our part and help those affected by disasters and crises. The COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program is an important opportunity to come together with two great organizations who share the same mission: to serve vulnerable populations during this global health crisis. This partnership was a natural fit and reinforced our dedication to community through our #NeighborsHelpingNeighbors campaign,” said Corey Eide, Team Rubicon’s Senior Director, Capabilities Development. “Our ability to adapt our traditional response efforts and leverage our unique technology, allows us to be agile and better serve those affected by disasters and crises. By joining forces with PAF, and leveraging our individual skillsets, we have no doubt that our efforts will be magnified and the program will allow us to help a significant amount of people experiencing profound challenges as a result of COVID-19.”
“We are pleased to partner with Team Rubicon in the fight against COVID-19 to provide emergency financial assistance to patients in need,” said PAF CEO Alan Balch, PhD. “This financial safety net program will provide necessary support to some of our nation’s most vulnerable patients, ensuring that eligible households do not go without sustenance.”
The program, expected to benefit thousands of patients nationwide, is funded by a $7 million grant from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, a charitable organization that promotes health equity and seeks to improve the outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases.
“Working with patient advocacy organizations, we identified access to food during the COVID-19 pandemic as an urgent need for immunocompromised patients who are unable to leave their homes for risk of exposure. The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation is honored to bring together and fund these two partners to organize a comprehensive emergency food assistance response,” said John Damonti, President, the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation. “Team Rubicon’s vast network of volunteers and PAF’s funding platform offer unique, complementary capabilities, enabling support to be delivered to patients quickly.”
This program launched on May 8, 2020 and will run for a minimum of five months.
Who is Eligible
Patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis who experience difficulty accessing or affording food or other nutritional needs due to COVID-19, with eligibility established at the point of application in most cases.
How to Apply, and How it Works
Team Rubicon developed a new feature in its Enterprise Management System (EMS) platform to enable a streamlined, web-based application for patients or their advocates.
Through this process, eligible patients, their caregivers or care team members can request complimentary delivery of food and other critical supplies directly to their place of residence by one of TR’s Greyshirt volunteers. Patients with an identified financial need will be able to apply for a one-time grant of $500 to help pay for food and nutritional needs including groceries, food delivery or pick up and medically-tailored meals.
More information, including application instructions, can be found at https://teamrubiconusa.org/applynow
About Team Rubicon
Team Rubicon is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves communities by mobilizing veterans to continue their service, leveraging their skills and experience to help people prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises. Built to serve, Team Rubicon has adapted its capabilities to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, providing assistance such as delivery service for food-insecure populations, coordination and logistics support for those in temporary quarantine, as well as individual volunteers inspired by action to help their neighbors leveraging the safety guidance. Additionally, Team Rubicon has helped local, state and federal partners with direct medical response including running mobile testing sites; decompressing hospitals and providing on-site medical assistance. Visit www.teamrubiconusa.org for more information.
About Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)
Established in 1996, Patient Advocate Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which provides case management services and financial aid to Americans with chronic, life-threatening and debilitating diseases. For more information about Patient Advocate Foundation and its mission to improve health access to all patients, visit www.patientadvocate.org or call 1-800-532-5274.
About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation promotes health equity and seeks to improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases by strengthening healthcare worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease. The Foundation engages partners to develop, test, sustain and spread innovative clinic-community partnerships to help patients access care and support for cancer in the U.S., China, Africa, and Brazil and for cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis in the United States. For more information about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, visit us at BMS.com/Foundation.
Head of Communications, Team Rubicon