Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Launches New Initiative to Expand Access to Nutritious Food in Community

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Today Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) introduced Well Stocked, a new community impact initiative focused on increasing access to nutritious food in underserved areas in Kansas City.

Access to nutritious food is key to the health and economic vitality of Kansas City. However, an estimated 350,000 people in Kansas City and the surrounding area are hungry, or faced by the threat of hunger.1 Children are especially vulnerable, and currently more than 100,000 children in Kansas City don't have access to the food they need to thrive.2

Panelists at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and Harvesters Food 4 Thought event on July 19, 2018 where Blue KC's Well Stocked initiative was launched. The panel discussed hunger in Kansas City and was moderated by Christa Dubill, anchor at KSHB-TV NBC. Panelists from left to right: Dr. Greg Sweat, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Valerie Nicholson-Watson, President and CEO of Harvesters, and Adriana Pecina, Program Officer with the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Panelists at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and Harvesters Food 4 Thought event on July 19, 2018 where Blue KC's Well Stocked initiative was launched. The panel discussed hunger in Kansas City and was moderated by Christa Dubill, anchor at KSHB-TV NBC. Panelists from left to right: Dr. Greg Sweat, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Valerie Nicholson-Watson, President and CEO of Harvesters, and Adriana Pecina, Program Officer with the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

"Caring for our community is at the heart of what we do," said Danette Wilson, President and CEO of Blue KC. "We're committed to improving the overall health of our community, and that starts with ensuring that everyone in Kansas Cityknows where they'll get their next nutritious meal."  

Through Well Stocked, Blue KC and its employees will promote education and access to nutritious food by expanding partnerships with local organizations. In its inaugural year, Blue KC will leverage its relationship with Harvesters—The Community Food Network to build awareness of this critical issue and provide healthy meals to children and families via the Harvesters' network.

"We've always valued our partnership with Blue KC, and look forward to strengthening our efforts together through Well Stocked," said Valerie Nicholson-Watson, President and CEO of Harvesters. "As part of today's announcement, donations from Blue KC employees will go directly to feed children and families who struggle to find regular, nutritious meals during the summer months when school is out and food donations slow."

"We value the partnerships that we've built over the years with so many Kansas City organizations that strive to improve the health of our community," said Macaela Stephenson, Manager of Community Relations and Investment at Blue KC. "With Well Stocked, we will continue to build on those partnerships, but with a focus on increasing access of nutritious food to make an even greater impact."

Blue KC will continue to remain dedicated to its existing partnerships, and will continue to support initiatives related to health services and community wellness; education and community engagement; and arts, culture and civic engagement.

For more information about Well Stocked or Blue KC's community impact programs, visit BlueKC.com/WellStocked.

1Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap 2018 Report: http://map.feedingamerica.org/

2Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap 2018 Report: http://map.feedingamerica.org/

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to use our role as the area's leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 35 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Indexsm. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit BCBS.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube and follow us on Twitter.

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