Centene and its Health Plans Raise Awareness of Childhood Social Isolation Through No One Eats Alone Day

March 1, 2021 at 8:00 AM EST

ST. LOUIS, March 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- February marked the celebration of No One Eats Alone Day, a nationwide initiative created by Beyond DifferencesTM, to promote inclusion among children and address social isolation. This year, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Centene's state-based health plans helped promote awareness and impact change locally by hosting online events to celebrate the occasion at schools and community organizations across the country.

Community representatives from Centene's health plans partnered with schools across the country to organize virtual No One Eats Alone Day assemblies, reaching more than 23,500 children in 47 schools. The virtual assemblies taught children about social isolation and the negative impact it can have on a student's health and academic performance. The children were given several ice-breaker topics to discuss with each other and encouraged to create new friendships with each other online.

Social isolation affects millions of students and has been identified as a precursor to bullying, self-harm and community violence. This past year, social isolation has gained additional significance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many students moved to virtual learning and had limited opportunities for social interaction. However, with No One Eats Alone, students have shown that if they are given the appropriate tools, they will stand up for others as empathetic and caring activists, not passive bystanders.

"As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, promoting inclusion and addressing social isolation has never been more important to the health and well-being of all students nationwide," said Marcela Manjarrez-Hawn, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Centene. "The No One Eats Alone initiative underscores Centene's commitment to whole health by offering resources that nurture children's confidence and socialization, ultimately promoting their overall health and wellbeing."

"The pandemic has given us all a taste of social isolation and the desire to feel connected," said Laura Talmus, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Differences. "Students and teachers need No One Eats Alone -- now more than ever -- to continue changing the culture in middle schools to be a more welcoming place for everyone regardless of their differences."

More than 1,400 schools and community organizations across the country celebrated No One Eats Alone Day. The initiative reached more than 700,000 children in all 50 states, and additional events will take place in the coming months. No One Eats Alone Day is sponsored by the Centene Charitable Foundation

About Centene Corporation 
Centene Corporation, a Fortune 50 company, is a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise that is committed to helping people live healthier lives. The Company takes a local approach – with local brands and local teams – to provide fully integrated, high-quality, and cost-effective services to government-sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Centene offers affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation, including Medicaid and Medicare members (including Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) as well as individuals and families served by the Health Insurance Marketplace, the TRICARE program, and individuals in correctional facilities. The Company also serves several international markets, and contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide a variety of specialty services focused on treating the whole person. Centene focuses on long-term growth and the development of its people, systems and capabilities so that it can better serve its members, providers, local communities, and government partners.

About Beyond Differences
Founded in 2010, Beyond Differences is the only student-led nonprofit organization and social justice movement dedicated to ending social isolation. The nonprofit was created to honor the life of Lili Rachel Smith, a high school freshman who passed away in her sleep from medical complications from Apert Syndrome, a cranial-facial anomaly. Lili experienced social isolation in middle school and its effects, including lack of self-esteem, loss of social skills needed to keep up with her peers, and even academic decline. Beyond Differences believes that students can lead the way to make meaningful change in their community so that all teens feel included, valued and accepted by their peers. The organization created three positive prevention initiatives: Know Your Classmates™, No One Eats Alone® and Be Kind Online™ with curriculum and activities.  More than 6,500 schools nationwide use its materials, which are provided free of charge. For more information, visit beyonddifferences.org

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SOURCE Centene Corporation

Media: Marcela Manjarrez-Hawn, (314) 445-0790, mediainquiries@centene.com, Investors: Jennifer Lynch Gilligan, (212) 759-0382, investors@centene.com