Michigan Association of Health Plans

Meridian of Michigan Partners with The Salvation Army to Increase Vaccination Rates in Detroit

As efforts continue to increase vaccination rates in the state of Michigan and across the country, Meridian of Michigan has partnered with The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread program to deliver meals and COVID-19 vaccinations to community members.

“Meridian’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of all Detroiters is unwavering,” said Jamie Winkler, executive director of The Salvation Army eastern Michigan Harbor Light System. “The pandemic continues to impact Detroit—especially the homeless and families struggling to gain access to care. With the generous support of Meridian, the Bed & Bread program remains a vital resource to thousands of Detroiters seeking food, shelter, and access to the COVID vaccine.”

“To stop the further spread of COVID-19, we need to work together as a community and remove barriers to accessing the vaccine,” said Sean Kendall, Meridian Plan President & CEO. “We are pleased to work with The Salvation Army and committed to helping Detroiters live healthier lives.”

The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division has been a staple in the metro Detroit community for 134 years – providing food, shelter and critical social services to those in need. The Bed & Bread program serves nearly 1.6 million meals and provides more than 77,000 nights of shelter annually. The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread trucks travel 180 miles every day, making 60 stops to serve meals in Detroit’s most depressed areas.

In a response to the pandemic, The Salvation Army adapted their Bread & Bed program to meet the current needs of the homeless population. In addition to modifying its trucks to enable contactless food delivery, the nonprofit also supplies other basic needs and offers COVID-19 vaccinations through its partnership with Central City Integrated Health (CCIH) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Meridian volunteers have accompanied The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread trucks on three different routes within Wayne Co. (Region 10). On the route, Detroiters, especially the homeless, have the option to receive the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine while also receiving assistance for their basic needs. Additionally, Meridian is working closely with The Salvation Army to build out other opportunities to increase access of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This isn’t the first COVID-19 partnership Meridian has engaged with to ensure accessibility and safety for Michiganders and it won’t be the last. “There is huge value in working with community agencies as they enable us to extend our reach into the community beyond what we can do on our own,” Kendall stated. “It truly takes a village.”

This article originally appeared in WFMZ. Read more here

  back to blog