BOSTON, June 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the growing rate of food insecurity across the Commonwealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ("Blue Cross") is partnering with local food relief nonprofits to provide nutritious meals to families in need.
Pre-COVID-19, one in 11 Massachusetts households faced hunger, which amounted to 9% of residents. As of March, data showed that 38% of people in the state were food insecure and the rate continues to rise.
"Access to nutritious food is essential for maintaining a healthy life," said Jeff Bellows, vice president of corporate citizenship and public affairs at Blue Cross. "To help address this growing health issue, Blue Cross has made significant local investments and developed new community partnerships to ensure families have access to healthy food during this difficult time."
To date, Blue Cross' financial, pro-bono and in-kind COVID-19 community support totals $9.75M. In addition to the company's $460,000 contribution to regional COVID-19 response funds including the Boston Resiliency Fund, The Community Foundation of Western Mass, the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, The Community Foundation of Southeast Massachusetts among others, Blue Cross has committed nearly $600,000 directly to nonprofits addressing the rising rate of food insecurity in communities across the state.
This support includes:
- A new partnership with Lovin Spoonfuls and FLIK, Blue Cross' food service vendor, engaging cafeteria employees from our Hingham and Quincy offices to prepare 1,000 meals per day to donate to local communities in need. Lovin' Spoonfuls, which focuses on bridging the gap between food abundance and need, picks up the prepared meals each morning and distributes the meals to more than a dozen organizations in Chelsea, East Boston, Greater Boston, Quincy and Waltham.
- Increasing support for Project Bread and their COVID-19 response efforts working with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and many schools and community partners to provide families with access to school meals while schools are closed.
- Funding of World Central Kitchen's Frontline Foods South Shore and Off Their Plate initiatives, which provide hospital clinicians with food from local restaurants that have been impacted by the COVID crisis.
- Partnering with food pantries such as Lorraine's Soup Kitchen and Pantry, which serves Greater Chicopee, and the One Chelsea Fund, which is providing critical support for community members who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
- Launching an employee food assistance program where Blue Cross associates can pick-up free meal kits once a week to feed a family of four.
See the full list of organizations Blue Cross is partnering with and the communities they serve below.
West End House Boys & Girls Clubs
Amesbury & the North Shore
Our Neighbors Table
Amherst Survival Center
Hebron Food Pantry
Pine Street Inn
Brockton & the South Shore
Father Bill's & Mainspring
The Charity Guild
Cambridge Community Center
Cape Cod & the Islands
Family Pantry of Cape Cod
One Chelsea Fund
Salvation Army Chelsea
Lorraine's Soup Kitchen & Pantry
Crossroads Family Center
Salesian Boys & Girls Club of East Boston
YMCA of East Boston & Boston Center for Youth & Families, Paris St.
Greater Boston Food Bank
Epiphany School Pantry
Lifeboat Food Pantry
Metro Boston Alive
Off Their Plates
Saint Francis House
Violence in Boston
Open Pantry of Greater Lowell
Lynn Community Care Fund
Bread of Life Food Pantry
Quincy & the South Shore
Interfaith Social Services
Southwest Community Food Center
Frontline Foods South Shore
Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
Waltham Community Day Center
Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
Weymouth Food Pantry
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are committed to the relentless pursuit of quality, affordable health care with an unparalleled consumer experience. Consistent with our promise to always put our members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts