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Aetna Better Health of Georgia, Beacon of Hope Church of God Partner to Open New Food Pantry to Address Food Insecurity in Emanuel County

December 13, 2023 |3 minute read time

Grand opening of the food pantry

SWAINSBORO, Ga., Dec. 13, 2023 — Aetna Better Health® of Georgia, a CVS Health® company  (NYSE: CVS), and Beacon of Hope Church of God opened the Lazarus Project Food Pantry on Monday, Dec. 11 in Swainsboro, Ga. The food pantry is the result of a community-driven effort in collaboration with Aetna’s Emanuel County Community Health Council to identify the unique needs of the area and harnessing collective, local resources to create a lasting impact on the health and well-being of the community.

On Dec. 11, the Lazarus Project Food Pantry welcomed community members, local officials and supporters to celebrate the official grand opening of the pantry. The grand opening event not only showcased the immediate impact of the food pantry, but also set the stage for a long-term commitment to the health of the community.

“The opening of the Lazarus Project Food Pantry is a testament to the power of collaboration and the spirit of our community,” said John Hancock, Pastor at Beacon of Hope Church of God. “As we look towards the future, we remain dedicated to fostering a resilient, healthy community where no one goes hungry. We invite all community members to join us in this mission and make the Lazarus Project Food Pantry a cornerstone of support for those that need it most.”

The Lazarus Project Food Pantry is made possible by Aetna’s Emanuel County Community Health Council, where community members, health professionals and local leaders came together to identify and address pressing health concerns in the area. Upon discovering that Emanuel County was at an elevated risk of food insecurity, and recognizing the profound impact of food insecurity on overall health, it became clear that a community-focused food pantry could serve as a sustainable solution in Swainsboro. In May of 2023, Aetna provided Beacon of Hope Church of God with a grant of $50,000 to help launch the food pantry.

“As the Lazarus Project Food Pantry opens its doors, it helps usher in a new chapter for the community and stands as a testament to what can be achieved when individuals and organizations join forces to create healthy communities,” said Georgia-based Sonya Nelson, Division President at Aetna Medicaid. “This collaborative effort is not only about addressing an immediate need but establishing a sustainable, community-driven solution for positive long-term outcomes. By addressing the root causes of health disparities beyond the traditional boundaries of health care, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of individuals and families in need.”

The Lazarus Project has already had a significant impact in Emanuel County, as it provides furniture and other resources to community members and serves an average of 500 families per year. With the addition of the new food pantry, the number of clients served by the Lazarus Project is expected to increase substantially.

“Aetna Better Health of Georgia in partnership with Lazarus Project Food Pantry will provide food, including fresh produce, to underserved families throughout Swainsboro and surrounding areas to create remarkable community and environmental impact,” said Andre Greenwood, Interim CEO, Aetna Better Health of Georgia. “We’re looking forward to extending our presence in the communities we serve to help residents across Emanuel County have access to quality and healthy food options.”

Families or individuals experiencing food insecurity in Emanuel County can visit the Lazarus Project Food Pantry at 664 S. Main St. in Swainsboro, Ga. The food pantry will be held on the second Saturday of each month from 10:00am to 1:00pm. Members of the community can help support the food pantry by volunteering, donating food items and fundraising. For more information, contact Beacon of Hope Church of God at (478) 237-8509.




About Aetna Medicaid

Aetna Medicaid Administrators LLC (Aetna Medicaid), a CVS Health company, has over 30 years of experience managing the care of under-resourced populations, using innovative approaches and a local presence in each market to achieve both successful health care results and effective cost outcomes. Aetna Medicaid has expertise serving high-need Medicaid members, including those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Currently, Aetna Medicaid owns and/or administers Medicaid managed health care plans under the names of Aetna Better Health and other affiliate names. Together, these plans serve members in 16 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. For more information, see


About CVS Health

CVS Health® is the leading health solutions company, delivering care like no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and over 300,000 dedicated colleagues – including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health – whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system – and their personal health care – by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Follow @CVSHealth on social media.


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Robert Joyce

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