RICHARDSON, Texas — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has joined forces with Feeding America®, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, to address the food insecurity crisis magnified across the nation and Texas by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® program, BCBSTX awarded $507,000 in nutrition grants to 16-member food banks that serve approximately 151 counties in Texas.
BCBSTX’s investments in communities go beyond investing in direct health care services but encompass a broad range of factors that impact a person’s total health and well-being, such as access to affordable housing and employment opportunities, consistent nutrition and financial security.
“We’ve seen food insecurity in our communities amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sheena Payne, director of BCBSTX’s Community Investments. “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 health care 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 will have the option to use funds for the purchase of nutritious and culturally appropriate foods for the communities they serve, as well as develop nutrition policies that address food insecurity, intercultural competence in nutrition, and structural health inequities.
“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.”
The 16 food banks awarded grants are:
- Brazos Valley Food Bank
- Central Texas Food Bank
- Coastal Bend Food Bank
- Concho Valley Regional Food Bank
- East Texas Food Bank
- El Pasoans Fighting Hunger
- Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc.
- Food Bank of West Central Texas
- Galveston County Food Bank
- Houston Food Bank
- North Texas Food Bank
- San Antonio Food Bank
- Southeast Texas Food Bank
- Tarrant Area Food Bank
- West Texas Food Bank
- Wichita Falls Area Food Bank
BCBSTX is committed to improving the health and well-being of all people, regardless of their personal and economic circumstances or where they live in the communities we serve. The collaboration with Feeding America will also address the complex challenges that increase families’ risk of food insecurity, such as building cultural competency amongst frontline staff to more successfully meet the health and nutrition needs of communities.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and health care practitioners, and 500 hospitals to serve more than 6 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country's largest customer-owned health insurer. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.