Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBS North Carolina) is committed to improving the health and well-being of all North Carolinians by providing an additional $5 million to support organizations improving access to food and other critical community needs during COVID-19. The company continues to evaluate long-term solutions and investments to remove barriers to basic needs. "These organizations are on the front lines serving our families and our friends," said Cheryl Parquet, Director of Community and Diversity Engagement. "They are making sure our kids, our students, and our seniors have access to food. They are here for our neighbors and communities, and so are we."
Partnerships and initiatives:
- Distribute nearly 1.2 million meals across all 100 counties - Partnerships include The Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC, MANNA FoodBank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC, Food Bank of the Albemarle, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast NC.
- Produce and distribute 75,000 blast-frozen meals to at-risk communities - Inter-Faith Food Shuttle – to secure packaging and products and reactivate its mobile unit to deliver meals. Funding will also provide needed infrastructure for the future.
- Package boxes of fresh food to be delivered to 2,500 out-of-work restaurant and hospitality industry workers. Carolina Farm Stewardship Association supporting the development of a network of food hubs, farmers and farmer co-ops.
- Meals on Wheels of NC – supplementing government funding received for the purchase of food by providing each county in North Carolina with flexible support to operate senior meal programs.
- Feeding the Carolinas – providing statewide support across the Feeding the Carolinas network for partner agency food pantries.
- Farmer Foodshare – supporting the delivery of fresh food from farmers across North Carolina to schools and other emergency food providers.
- Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) – creating market connections for farmers and vendors to replace disrupted sales, including operating a minimum of three centralized CDC-compliant farmers markets/pick-up sites and supporting the preparation and distribution of unsold farm products to food-insecure communities.
- Durham Public Schools Foundation – providing fresh food to families for weekend meals and increase staffing support. Blue Cross NC’s cafeteria vendor will provide 4,000 meals each week in conjunction with DPS Foundation’s efforts.
- El Centro Hispano – to continue providing support to Latinx community members with food, financial assistance, health screenings and education from increased demand during COVID-19.
- United Way 211 – NC 211 is the crisis line used statewide by North Carolinians during COVID-19. United Way 211 will be able to access equipment and IT services needed to ensure call quality and routing of calls, which have surged in the wake of the pandemic.
- Camino Community Center – to expand operational capacity and provide food to more than 300 members of the Latinx community each week.
- UNC School System – the Student Relief Fund at the UNC School System will be able to increase the assistance it gives students across all 16 universities and colleges within the school system.
- North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Fund – BCBS North Carolina matched nearly $40,000 in Thrive NC festival ticket purchaser donations to the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund. With additional donations from Thrive NC sponsors, paired with ticket refund donations and Blue Cross NC match, the total investment totaled to $121,394 to the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund.
BCBS North Carolina encourages employees to give to local nonprofits like Ronald McDonald Houses, food banks and the United Way – and employees responded by donating more than $9,300.
BCBS North Carolina is also working closely with its cafeteria vendor to help prep and deliver meals to feed school children facing food insecurities and frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.