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November 13, 2020

Sun Life awards grants to local organizations across the country to support community diabetes programs

Sun Life Financial Logo (PRNewsfoto/Sun Life Financial)

WELLESLEY, Mass., Nov. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of World Diabetes Day on November 14, Sun Life has announced the winners of the annual Team Up Against Diabetes grant program. Every year Sun Life U.S. supports five grassroots organizations that administer diabetes support, management, education and awareness programs in high-risk or underserved communities. This year's recipients support minority communities who, as studies have shown, often have reduced access to healthcare and health support, and are disproportionately vulnerable to diabetes and its complications.

"Sun Life has an important role to play in helping our communities feel supported and safe, especially at a difficult time like this when health is at risk," said Dan Fishbein, M.D., president of Sun Life U.S. "Our support will help these organizations continue the great work they are doing to address the needs of those with diabetes and pre-diabetes, while also addressing important topics around health disparities and food insecurity – both of which have been exacerbated by COVID-19."

2020 Sun Life Team Up Against Diabetes grant program winners:

Emory University, Leveraging Soccer to Prevent Diabetes Among Minority Men, Atlanta
Emory has implemented a soccer-based Diabetes Prevention Program to engage minority men with the goal of reversing a prediabetes diagnosis. Trained soccer coaches will lead facilitated discussions using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control National Diabetes Prevention Program modules, along with rigorous game play that incorporates a fitness curriculum from FIFA and other resources. The goal is for participants to reverse their prediabetes, as well as demonstrate sustained weight-loss and exhibit new knowledge of exercise, nutrition and wellness. Sun Life's support will cover all costs for program participants.   

Hunger Intervention Program, Community Food and Fitness Program, Seattle
Hunger Intervention Program's (HIP) mission is to increase food security for underserved populations through nutritious meals, prevention education programs and anti-hunger advocacy. HIP's Community Food and Fitness Program seeks to improve health in Latinx, Southeast Asian and African American communities through culturally relevant nutrition education, cooking classes, fitness activities, and health-related workshops, centered around a communal meal event. Sun Life's grant support will allow HIP to hold these events more frequently, with expanded access to cooking and nutrition education for children as well.  

Physicians Committee for Responsible MedicineNative Food for Life, Washington, D.C.
The Native Food for Life program focuses on the prevention and reversal of diabetes in the Navajo Nation and the Eight Northern Pueblos of New Mexico. American Indian and Alaskan Native populations shoulder a disproportionate burden of type 2 diabetes among adults, according to the CDC. The program's diabetes prevention, treatment, and reversal curriculum uses ancestral wisdom and Navajo culture to help restore participants' physical health and vitality over the course of a 12-week period. Sun Life's grant support will allow for an online adaptation of the curriculum, will train local experts to assist in program delivery, and will help launch community workshops in four new locations. In moving their materials to an online format, coupled with the additional community workshops, the program will reach over 10,000 individuals in the Navajo Nation. 

Supportive Older Women's NetworkPhilly Families Eat Smart, Philadelphia
Supportive Older Women's Network provides innovative solutions to 50+ adults so they can lead healthy, independent lives and age in place within their homes and communities. Sun Life's grant will support Philly Families Eat Smart (PFES), which focuses on healthy eating and physical activity in grandparent-led families. The majority of grandparents supported by the program are African-American women over 60 who live in impoverished areas and cope with chronic health conditions like diabetes, which limit their daily activities. PFES covers nutrition, healthy cooking, and culturally appropriate diets, and aims to improve health behavior with creative solutions to help ensure lifestyle changes are permanent.

Victory ProgramsReVision Urban Farm, Boston
The ReVision Urban Farm program provides food insecure families in the Dorchester and Mattapan areas of Boston with fresh produce and nutrition education. The Farm aims to reduce health disparities for low-income families, educate on the benefits of healthy eating and build coalitions to advance community health. Sun Life's support will expand the reach of food security to the program's ReVision Family Home for homeless families, and other area residents in need. The grant will also increase levels of nutrition education and healthy cooking skills, as well as help Victory Programs build a coalition with local health centers and community groups to help close the health disparity gap in the Boston area.

"The pandemic has put a spotlight on health inequality in this country, and we must be active participants in the solution," added Fishbein. "We are proud to support these incredible organizations that are providing such important community services."

The Sun Life Team Up Against Diabetes grant program is in its fifth year and has distributed $1 million to diabetes programs across the country. It is part of Sun Life's broader efforts to address diabetes and equal access to healthcare, which include community partnerships with the Boston Celtics and Kansas City Royals.

For more information about the Team Up Against Diabetes grant program, visit www.sunlife.com/usgrants.      

About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2020, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1,186 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

In the United States, Sun Life is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than 60,000 employers in small, medium and large workplaces across the country. Sun Life's broad portfolio of insurance products and services in the U.S. includes disability, absence management, life, dental, vision, voluntary and medical stop-loss. Sun Life and its affiliates in asset management businesses in the U.S. employ approximately 5,500 people. Group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except in New York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, Mich.). For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.

Media contact:
Devon Fernald
Sun Life U.S.

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