500 Pumpkins in 10 Days

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Delta Dental’s Minnesota Spooktacular Pumpkin Challenge Aims to Help Minnesota Families in Need

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Delta Dental is aiming to collect 500 pumpkins to donate to uninsured, underinsured or low-income Minnesota families, many of whom can’t afford even the most basic oral health supplies.

Collecting 500 pumpkins in 10 days might seem like a lofty goal, but not to Delta Dental of Minnesota. Today, the company is kicking off its Minnesota Spooktacular Pumpkin Challenge. Delta Dental is aiming to collect 500 pumpkins to donate to uninsured, underinsured or low-income Minnesota families, many of whom can’t afford even the most basic oral health supplies. This event is a unique way to connect Halloween and oral health by not only giving local families in need a pumpkin and oral health supplies, but also educating them.

How can someone participate? Anyone can participate, especially if they are interested in donating a pumpkin to a family in need. Just pick up an extra pumpkin at your local grocery store or pumpkin patch.

Where should the pumpkins be donated? Undecorated pumpkins can be donated at various locations, including Delta Dental headquarters in Eagan. A full list of locations is available at http://www.deltadentalmn.org. As a thank-you from Delta Dental, pumpkin donors will receive a trick-or-treat bag with toothbrushes and toothpaste for a family of four and a Delta Dental smashlight flashlight.

When can pumpkins be donated? Any time between October 13 and October 22.

How will the pumpkins get to the families? Participating local community dental and health clinics that mainly serve low-income, uninsured and immigrant children and families will give the donated pumpkins to their patients. In addition to the donated pumpkins, those families will receive a Delta Dental trick-or-treat bag with toothbrushes, toothpaste, a Delta Dental smashlight flashlight, and oral health information. Official Rules are available at http://www.deltadentalmn.org .

Why is the Minnesota Spooktacular Pumpkin Challenge important? This event is a fun way of celebrating Halloween, while also helping local Minnesota children in need of good oral health. Many families face barriers when it comes to knowing about and practicing good oral health. At this time of year, it’s also a great reminder for all families that after the kids eat their Halloween candy, they should remember to brush and floss.

Help us collect 500 pumpkins and carve out healthy smiles for Minnesota children. Visit http://www.deltadentalmn.org for more information.

Good to Know:

Tooth decay remains the #1 chronic disease in children, including Minnesota children. (U. S. Surgeon General’s Report, 2000).

  • Many children (particularly low-income, underserved) have poor access to the most basic of oral health supplies (toothbrushes and toothpaste) or a regular dental home.
  • For many of us, Halloween means extra candy and sugary treats around the house, school and office. However satisfying as they might be, sweet snacks aren't without some dangers to teeth.
  • Many Minnesota families who are under-insured, uninsured or are under significant financial stress have limited access to oral health services and even basic oral health supplies (a toothbrush and toothpaste).
  • Parents and even caregivers play a very important role in establishing healthy eating habits and making sure children brush and floss every day. Education and understanding the process of tooth decay is often not properly understood.
  • The burden of Oral disease in Minnesota is disproportionately borne by children from minority populations and schools with higher proportions of children from low income families. (MDH, 3rd Grade Oral Health Basic Screening Survey, February 2011)

About Delta Dental of Minnesota – An independent, non-profit health services company, we take seriously our mission to serve Minnesotans’ oral health needs. Since 1969, we’ve accomplished this mission by providing the best access across the state to oral health care through affordable dental plans. We also know the importance of doing right by the communities we serve. We’ve partnered with community organizations and social service agencies to address the dental needs of Minnesota’s underserved and uninsured populations. In 2010, we contributed more than $850,000 in grants and donations to support a range of programs addressing oral health and community needs. Delta Dental of Minnesota is based in Eagan, Minnesota. Delta Dental is a registered mark of Delta Dental Plans Association. Delta Dental of Minnesota is an independent nonprofit dental services company and is an authorized licensee of the Delta Dental Plans Association of Oak Brook, Illinois.

Media Contact:
Dana Jensen, Program Officer
(651) 994-5002
djensen(at)deltadentalmn(dot)org

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