Missouri Schools and Home State Health Create a Culture of Belonging Through National No One Eats Alone® Day

More than 2,000 schools nationwide are expected to participate in this year's event.

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- For the sixth year in a row, Home State Health, a Managed Care Organization that serves the needs of the Medicaid population in partnership with MO HealthNet and wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC), supported No One Eats Alone® Day, a prevention initiative created by nonprofit Beyond Differences™ to fostering inclusion and build a culture of belonging in middle schools.

The first event is being held at Old North Academy located at 3017 North 13th Street St. Louis, on February 16, 2024, and is open to media from 11:00-11:30 a.m.

Home State Health will be partnering with several schools throughout the month of February. Centene Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Centene Corporation, will sponsor the event.

"At Home State Health we're committed to building and maintaining children's health and well-being, and that includes providing them with resources to succeed in life," said Jeffrey Johnston, President, and CEO. "We are proud to partner with Beyond Differences to celebrate No One Eats Alone Day® and bring light to social issues that affect students in Missouri."

According to public health research, social isolation has been found to have negative impact on the mental wellbeing of children, leading to issues such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, thoughts of suicide, and higher chances of engaging in substance abuse. A study by Beyond Differences indicated that when students are provided programs to learn about social isolation and given the tools to connect with classmates, nearly 85 percent of the students felt empowered to be leaders and create a culture of acceptance and belonging at their school.

The nonprofit organization Beyond Differences® established No One Eats Alone as an initiative to combat social isolation. This year, over 1 million students are expected to participate in activities designed to teach them about social isolation and the negative impact it can have on health and academic performance. With in-class lessons, interactive exercises and a creative art project that focuses on growing our social connections, students will work together to make their school more welcoming and accepting for everyone.

"This year's No One Eats Alone theme, Let's Grow: Planting New Connections, was inspired by the U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory on social connection where he spotlights the negative health effects of social isolation and emphasizes that connections need to be nurtured like a garden," says Laura Talmus, co-founder, and executive director of Beyond Differences. "Our curriculum dives deep into recognizing emotions, understanding social isolation and gives students tools to be social isolation disruptors and ambassadors of belonging."    

About Home State Health
Home State Health is a Care Management Organization that serves the needs of Missourians through a range of health insurance solutions. Home State Health serves the Medicaid population in partnership with MO HealthNet. The organization also focuses on under-insured and uninsured individuals through its Health Insurance Marketplace plan, Ambetter. Additionally, Home State Health provides insurance for the Medicare population through a Medicare Advantage plan, Wellcare. Home State Health exists to improve the health of its members through focused, compassionate, and coordinated care and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation. For more information, visit www.homestatehealth.com.

About the Centene Foundation 
The Centene Foundation (the "Foundation"), a private nonprofit focused on investing in economically challenged communities, is the philanthropic arm of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) ("Centene"). The Foundation supports projects and initiatives strategically aligned with Centene's mission-driven culture and enhances the work Centene is doing to remove the barriers to wellness underserved and low-income populations face. The Foundation is committed to addressing social determinants of health and improving health equity in three distinct areas of focus: healthcare access, social services, and education. To learn more, visit the Centene Foundation's website.

About Beyond Differences 
Nonprofit Beyond Differences' mission is to inspire students to end social isolation in middle schools and create a culture of belonging for everyone. Founded in 2010, Beyond Differences has created year-round programs to tackle a wide range of issues that lead to social isolation. When educators register for National Programs -– No One Eats Alone, Know Your Classmates®, Be Kind Online® -- they also get access to Community-Inspired Curriculum written by Beyond Differences' National Teen Board. These include Queer Visibility, CIRV (Centering Immigrant and Refugee Voices), and Stand Up for AAPI Youth. All curriculum and activity kits are provided free for schools. Currently, more than 10,000 schools have used Beyond Differences programs and materials. For more information, visit nooneeatsalone.org.

SOURCE Home State Health