LEXINGTON, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky (Anthem) announced today that it will donate nearly $1.5 million over the next three years to Dare to Care Food Bank; Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland (FAKH); and God’s Pantry Food Bank. In this concerted effort to increase access to nutritious food to those in need, Anthem’s contribution will help the food banks organize more distribution events and increase their reach through mobile food pantries.
Nearly one in five Kentucky residents lack reliable access to healthy food, and the state has some of the highest food insecurity rates in the country among older adults – according to data available at “Close to Home,” a social driver of health information tool available through Anthem, Inc., the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
“Anthem recognizes the complexity of health and knows that living well is about more than just receiving medical care. The best health happens when we address its many drivers, including reliable access to healthy food,” said Neil Steffens, President of Anthem’s Medicare Central Region. “We’ve served Kentuckians for more than 80 years and will continue to help our nonprofit community serve our neighbors in need.”
These sponsorships demonstrate Anthem’s commitment to building healthier lives and communities, complementing the company’s ongoing efforts to fight food insecurity – including multi-year collaborations with Tri-State Food Bank and Freestore Food Bank, which will help provide more than 500,000 meals and assist thousands of people in need.
“Far too many people in Kentucky are hurting right now – out of work, frightened, and worried about how they’re going to put food on their table,” said Brian Riendeau, executive director at Dare to Care. “Our ongoing collaboration with Anthem and their financial support gives us the badly needed resources to help our community, especially given how tough this pandemic has been on many people.”
Serving 13 counties in Kentucky and Indiana for more than 50 years, Dare to Care partners with nearly 300 local service agencies, such as food pantries and shelters, to distribute food to Kentuckiana communities, providing 23 million meals to those in need in the past year alone. Anthem’s commitment will help the food bank conduct hundreds of mobile food pantry events and distribute more than 1.6 million pounds of fresh produce to Kentuckiana over the next three years. It comes on the heels of Dare to Care and Anthem Foundation’s Dollars For Doers Volunteer Challenge in which every hour volunteered at the food bank was matched with a $10 donation.
“We are grateful for the continued partnership with Anthem to put fresh produce onto the tables of those in Kentucky facing hunger,” said Jamie Sizemore, FAKH Executive Director. “Food insecurity continues to be a significant issue in the state, and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for our services upwards of 20 percent. With this three-year commitment from Anthem, we'll be able to host 150 produce distribution events in our service area, providing nearly 1.9 million pounds of produce to 75,000 families in need.”
Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland and Anthem have a long history of collaborating to improve access to healthy food in FAKH’s service area, including a 2019 donation that helped the food bank provide more than 900,000 pounds of fresh produce and non-perishable food items at nearly 100 food distributions. Through a network of more than 230 local partner agencies, FAKH distributes more than 19 million pounds of food to the most vulnerable community members.
“Many Kentuckians are unable to access or afford healthy food options, and the pandemic has made the situation much worse for many individuals,” said Michael Halligan, CEO of God’s Pantry Food Bank. “We are grateful for the generosity of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in supporting the Food Bank’s efforts to bring more fresh and healthy food to the plates of those experiencing hunger in our communities.”
Through partnerships with more than 450 food pantry and meal programs in 2020, God’s Pantry Food Bank distributed more than 43 million pounds of food, including nearly 14 million pounds of fresh produce to help alleviate hunger throughout Central and Eastern Kentucky. Anthem’s three-year commitment announced today will help the Food Bank provide more than 84 Mobile Pantry events and distribute more than 900,000 pounds of food to complement local pantry food distributions in areas where resources cannot meet the demands for families, older adults, and individuals in need.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/anthemBCBS and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AnthemBlueCrossBlueShield.
About Dare to Care Food Bank
Dare to Care Food Bank is a local nonprofit agency with a mission to lead the community to feed the hungry and conquer the cycle of need. In the past twelve months, Dare to Care distributed more than 23 million meals in eight Kentucky and five Indiana counties. For more information, visit www.daretocare.org.
About Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland
Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland (FAKH) is a regional food bank that provides assistance to more than 223,000 people in 42 counties each year. Through support from individuals and organizations, FAKH distributes more than 19 million pounds of food to approximately 230 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. FAKH also sponsors various hunger relief programs including the BackPack™ Program and the Senior Box Program (CSFP). FAKH’s main office and warehouses are located on Peterson Drive in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. For more information or to volunteer, sponsor a fundraiser or a food drive, or to make a secure online donation, visit their website at feedingamericaky.org.
About God’s Pantry Food Bank
The mission of God’s Pantry Food Bank is to reduce hunger by working together to feed Kentucky communities. Working through more than 450 food pantries and meal programs, the Food Bank serves 50 counties of Central and Eastern Kentucky. God’s Pantry Food Bank distributed 41.4 million pounds of groceries products to nearly 200,000 individuals, including more than 13 million pounds of fresh produce in fiscal year 2020. For more information visit us at www.godspantryfoodbank.org.