Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is helping eliminate school lunch debt in the Piedmont. The investment is part of Blue Cross NC’s commitment to create a healthier state, by helping children facing food insecurity access the nutrition needed for growth and development. In total, the $159,000 investment will help five counties: Alamance, Guilford, Forsyth, Rockingham and Davidson. The funds will go toward their efforts to provide and expand school meals for children who lack access to affordable, healthy food.
A 2016 Gallup poll commissioned by the Food Research and Action Center ranked the Greensboro-High Point area among the hungriest in the country. The metro area was ranked number one for people who had difficulties getting food, based on a percentage of the total population. The area was ranked number nine for worst food hardship rate overall. In the same study, Winston-Salem was ranked 14 for worst food hardship rate.1
“Blue Cross NC’s mission to improve the health and well-being of our state starts with our children,” said Blue Cross NC Director of Community Relations Cheryl Parquet. “Working to end childhood hunger is the first step toward building stronger, healthier communities and addressing hunger throughout the state.”
Statewide, 57 percent of children in North Carolina public schools are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunches.2 As of December 2017, nearly 870,000 children ate school-provided lunches in North Carolina.3 This makes North Carolina the seventh largest school nutrition program in the country, with almost 1 in 4 children facing food insecurity in northwest North Carolina.4
1How Hungry is America? Food Research & Action Center, 2016
2Children eligible for free or reduced price lunch Country Health Rankings.org, 2015
3NORTH CAROLINA PTA TO REIMAGINE SCHOOL MEALS NCPTA, 2018
4Hunger in Northwest North Carolina Second Harvest Food Bank, 2014
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities through innovative health care products, insurance, services and information to more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.