Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has teamed up with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, to combat the food insecurity crisis. Although food insecurity has always been an issue, it has been xacerbated immensely by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families Program, BCBSTX donated $507,000 in nutrition grants to 16 Texas food banks, serving a total of 151 counties.
BCBSTX’s investments seek to not only provide direct healthcare services but also seek to provide solutions for factors influencing a person’s overall health and wellbeing. These factors include “access to affordable housing and employment opportunities, consistent nutrition and financial security,” as reported by KPVI.
“We've seen food insecurity in our communities amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic," Sheena Payne, director of BCBSTX’s Community Investments, said. "As the state's largest health plan, we must be part of the solution when it comes of transforming people's lives whether that is providing access to cost-effective, high-quality healthcare or helping to reduce barriers in accessing nutritious food. That's why we teamed up with Feeding America to continue our support of local food banks. We want to help ensure everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food."
The food banks awarded will have full reign on how to allocate their money, whether it be to purchase nutritious foods for the community or to develop nutrition policies that help conquer food insecurity. "Our work with Feeding America will focus our investment on proven strategies to increase access to and consumption of healthy foods," Payne continued. "The collaboration builds on BCBSTX's long history of partnering with community-based organizations to address the social determinants of health that impact our communities."
BCBSTX has proven its commitment to improving all people’s health and wellbeing, regardless of economic background or where they live. This collaboration will address other complex challenges as well, including training frontline staff to be able to accommodate the health and nutrition needs of a community.
For more information about food insecurity in Texas, visit Feeding Texas' website.