Dohmen Company Foundation pledges $75 million to fight diet-related disease

The Dohmen Company Foundation's headquarters at 2007 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Milwaukee. Photo credit: Dohmen Company Foundation

Last updated on September 29th, 2022 at 12:54 pm

Dohmen Company Foundation has pledged $75 million over seven years to reduce the morbidity of diet-related disease.

The commitment was announced Wednesday during the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition & Health, where the Biden administration rolled out a national strategy to end hunger, improve healthy eating and physical activity, and reduce diet-related disease by 2030.

“We believe the solution to improve the health of our nation is surprisingly simple. It’s food. The very thing that’s making us sick can become our prescription to health,” said Cynthia LaConte, chair of the Dohmen Company Foundation, in a statement. “Our unprecedented $75 million investment in comprehensive healthy food solutions and healthy eating education will strive to reduce escalating rates of diet related disease that are costing American lives.”

With its investment, the foundation will launch three initiatives that promote “food as medicine” and aim to reduce the morbidity of diet-related disease. They include:

  • Food For Health, a new Wisconsin public charity that will provide fresh medically tailored meals, people-centered health coaching and nutrition education to economically disadvantaged populations.
  • The Food Benefit Company, a mission-oriented social enterprise that will contract with companies to provide employees with nutrition coaching, biometric screening, and fresh food delivery.
  • A nationwide public awareness campaign to promote healthier food choices, which the foundation will fund through a $10 million matching grant challenge.

In 2019, Dohmen converted from a six-generation family-owned business into a foundation-owned philanthropic enterprise. Under that structure, the company’s profits are donated to the foundation for charitable purposes. Central to Dohmen’s current strategy is the belief that food is a key preventative medical intervention.

Rachel Roller, president and CEO of the Dohmen Company Foundation. Photo courtesy of the Dohmen Company Foundation

LaConte on Tuesday announced the foundation’s new vision – life without diet-related disease – as well as the appointment of Rachel Roller to president and chief executive officer. Roller succeeds former president Kathy Koshgarian, who recently assumed a new role as president and CEO of The Food Benefit Co. and Food For Health.

“The foundation and White House commitments underscore the power of private and public partnerships to collectively accelerate health improvement,” said Roller. “We applaud the Biden Administration for advancing a comprehensive strategy to address poor diet, the leading risk factor for death in the United States. The Dohmen Company Foundation is doing its part to empower consumers to make the right food choices through education, awareness, and accessibility to healthy food. Together we can build a healthier and more equitable future for our nation.”

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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