Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Arkansas BCBS) is investing in organizations that are helping feed the state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many struggle to put food on the table.

Arkansas BCBS and its Blue & You Foundation have made $650,000 available to local organizations – like food banks and United Way chapters - to fund food security needs as well as provided a grant to its state’s broader COVID relief efforts.

From the $650,000 in funding announced, $500,000 will fund immediate food insecurity needs related to COVID-19. Three food distribution hubs will receive a total of $200,000, and the 17 regional United Way organizations in Arkansas will share $300,000.

These food distribution hubs provide to the medium-sized food banks around the state and the United Way chapters will share funding with their community organizations that are providing food insecurity services. These are immediate, direct grants, not requiring an application.

The remaining $150,000 will be directed to the Arkansas Community Foundation COVID Relief Fund, joining other leading Arkansas organizations to support non-profits on the front lines fighting the crisis.

Food distribution recipients include:

  • Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance ($125,000) – serves six regional food banks
  • Arkansas Food Bank ($40,000) – serves smaller community food pantries in 33 counties
  • Pack Shack ($35,000) – packs meals with groups statewide
  • The Heart of Arkansas United Way, Little Rock - $25,000
  • United Way of Central Arkansas, Conway - $25,000
  • United Way of Northwest Arkansas, Lowell - $25,000
  • United Way of Northeast Arkansas, Jonesboro - $25,000
  • United Way of the Ouachita’s, Hot Springs - $25,000
  • United Way Fort Smith Area - $25,000
  • United Way of Southeast Arkansas, Pine Bluff - $25,000
  • United Way of North Central Arkansas, Batesville - $20,000
  • United Way of White County, Searcy - $20,000
  • United Way of Greater Texarkana - $20,000
  • United Way of Boone County, Harrison - $20,000
  • River Valley United Way, Russellville - $20,000
  • United Way of Union County, El Dorado - $5,000
  • United Way of Columbia County, Magnolia - $5,000
  • United Way of Benton County, Gentry - $5,000
  • United Way of Greater Blytheville - $5,000
  • United Way of Hempstead County, Hope - $5,000

The home state health insurerhas also made $1.7 million in COVID-19-related grants to 26 organizations in Arkansas, and will continue to make such grants as the crisis continues to unfold.

Learn more about Arkansas BCBS and their relief efforts here.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independently, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.