Wholesome wave to use donations from John Hancock to fund produce prescription programs and drive policy change
BOSTON, February 7, 2021 – Today, John Hancock, the US division of Toronto-based Manulife (NYSE: MFC), announced a commitment to empower sustained health and wellbeing for its customers and community partners by matching the HealthyFood™ savings of John Hancock Vitality life insurance customers with donations to Wholesome Wave, a national nonprofit organization that provides affordable access to nutritious food.
John Hancock Vitality customers participating in the HealthyFood benefit can earn Vitality Points and enjoy discounts on purchases of fresh produce at participating grocers, and beginning today, John Hancock will match each dollar saved by customers through the HealthyFood program for the remainder of 2022 with a donation to Wholesome Wave.*
Nutrition insecurity at all levels is linked to some of the most common and costly health problems in the U.S. An estimated 45 percent of deaths from heart disease, stroke or diabetes in the U.S. are linked to poor diet, and diet-related diseases like diabetes and obesity have been known to drive the highest hospitalization and death rates from Covid-19.
A Healthy Goal
“Our goal is to help customers live longer, healthier lives, and with this initiative we hope to play a role in doing the same for the many households across America struggling with nutrition insecurity,” said Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance. “Broadening access to nutritious foods supports an individual’s key levers of health, helping to decrease the risk of diseases and reduce health disparities. With John Hancock Vitality, we’re proud to extend the shared value approach that underpins our business model by supporting Wholesome Wave so that as our customers enjoy savings on nutritious foods, they’ll know they are helping to expand access for others.”
Wholesome Wave is committed to creating programs across the country that address diet-related diseases head-on by making healthy foods accessible and affordable for Americans living in under-resourced communities. The support from John Hancock will be leveraged by Wholesome Wave to implement Produce Prescription Programs and drive transformational change through state and national healthcare policy in an effort to help treat diet-related diseases through healthy food.
“We are at a pivotal point as a nation when health disparities impact more Americans than ever before,” said Benjamin Perkins, CEO of Wholesome Wave. “It’s on all of us – in the public and the private sector – to join forces and get healthy food on tables in a way that honors Fidelity to community, Equity in health, and Dignity in approach. We’re grateful to John Hancock for this commitment and are confident it will go a long way in helping to prevent, reduce, and reverse diet-related diseases.”
John Hancock Vitality
John Hancock Vitality combines life insurance with a technology-enabled program that offers education, support, incentives, and rewards, including potential premium savings of up to 25 percent, designed to help customers live longer, healthier lives.** The program covers a broad spectrum of activities, including exercise, sleep, preventative screenings, mindfulness, and nutrition. During Covid-19, John Hancock has seen an increase in the utilization of the HealthyFood benefit as many Americans focus on improving their baseline health.
On February 7, 2022 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. EST, Mr. Tingle will represent John Hancock at a Congressional briefing hosted by the House Hunger Caucus to discuss how private sector innovators are leveraging food and nutrition to improve health, advance health equity, and lower healthcare costs in communities across the country. The virtual briefing, entitled: Food as Medicine: Spotlighting the Power and Innovation of the Private Sector to Improve Nutrition, will be held in collaboration with the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy with support from The Rockefeller Foundation.
To learn more about John Hancock Vitality and the HealthyFood benefit visit here.
About John Hancock and Manulife
John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services provider that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better by providing financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were CAD $1.4 trillion (US $1.1 trillion) as of September 30, 2021. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at manulife.com.
One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports more than ten million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance and annuities. John Hancock also supports US investors by bringing leading investment capabilities and retirement planning and administration expertise to individuals and institutions. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
About Wholesome Wave
Wholesome Wave is a national nonprofit that believes that solving hunger is not just about providing more food, but instead it’s about providing the right food so those in need can lead a healthy life. The organization’s efforts are driven by the mission of democratizing nutrition by empowering underserved consumers to make healthier food choices by increasing affordable access to fruits and vegetables. Wholesome Wave addresses complex problems with innovative and effective solutions, including the development of innovative payment technologies, programs such as “Wholesome Rx” (doctors writing prescriptions for produce) and “SNAP Doubling” (2 for 1 produce at grocery stores and farmers markets). Founded in 2007 by James Beard Award-winning Chef Michel Nischan and former U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture Gus Schumacher, the organization is based in Bridgeport, Connecticut. For more information, visit www.wholesomewave.org.
 Association Between Dietary Factors and Mortality From Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States
* John Hancock will match up to $200,000 in HealthyFood savings redeemed during February 7, 2022 through December 31, 2022.
** Premium savings are in comparison to the same John Hancock life insurance policy without Vitality PLUS. The level of premium savings are cumulative over the life of the policy and will vary based upon underwriting status, issue age, policy type, the terms of the policy and the Vitality Status achieved. Premiums savings are only available with Vitality PLUS.