From Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield:
Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield is providing $600,000 in financial support to food banks and food pantries across upstate New York as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health plan has committed to spending more than $162 million to help its members and communities fight the pandemic.
“We realize that the ability to earn a paycheck and feed a family are at risk for many people because of the coronavirus,” said Excellus BCBS Regional President, Jessica Renner. “This is leading to a growing number of people in our community experiencing food insecurity. We saw an opportunity to help by providing needed support to food banks and food pantries that are under pressure because of an increased need in our communities.”
Food is the most basic of all needs. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, nearly 14 percent of New York households struggled with hunger, and at least 1 million New York children lived in households that did not have regular and consistent access to food, according to the New York State Anti-Hunger Task Force. Over the last few months, as New York State’s unemployment rate increased, the ability for many families to regularly have food on the table was compromised. Local food banks and pantries are straining to meet the new demand.
The $600,000 donation from Excellus BCBS will support food banks and food pantries across the nonprofit health insurer’s 39 county upstate New York service area. In the Southern Tier region, that includes $90,000 to support Foodbank of the Southern Tier, in its efforts to provide food for people in need.
The health plan is committed to spending more than $162 million to help its members and communities respond to the pandemic.