The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, June 09, 2021 1:00 am

Local food bank among 4 aided by Anthem donation

Journal Gazette

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana announced Tuesday it will commit $661,000 over the next three years to food banks, including one based in Fort Wayne.

The money will support Community Harvest Food Bank, Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank, and Hoosier Hills Food Bank, a news release said.

“This funding will help the food banks expand their ability to deliver healthy food to Hoosiers and host additional mobile food distribution events,” the release said.

Anthem said it has a history of supporting Indiana's residents and communities in addressing factors that influence health, including access to healthy food. Nearly 1 in 6 Hoosiers lacks reliable access to healthy food – according to data available at “Close to Home,” a social driver of health information available through Anthem, Inc., the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the release said.

Neil Steffens, president of Anthem's Medicare Central Region, said in a statement that working with other organizations will lead to “a greater impact on the challenge of food insecurity than we would working as individual organizations.”

Community Harvest distributes more than 14 million meals and helps more than 100,000 people annually in a nine-county region. The Anthem-funded truck will be used for the food bank's Farm Wagon program, which visits 44 locations each month.

“Even in the midst of increasing food insecurity due to the pandemic, Community Harvest Food Bank has remained focused on our mission – alleviating hunger through the full use of donated food and other resources,” John Wolf, CEO of Community Harvest Food Bank, said in a statement.

“We are grateful to Anthem for its support of our efforts to put whole foods on the table for Indiana families in need. Through their sponsorship,” he added, “we'll be able to bring more than 300,000 pounds of food every month to Indiana families in our area.”

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