BCBSNC Sets Goal of 10,000 Pounds for Annual Food Drive

Chapel Hill, N.C. – For many children in North Carolina, the summer months are characterized not by fun and relaxation, but by hunger. That's because thousands of children in our state depend on school-sponsored nutrition programs to provide their meals. When school recesses for the summer, so do two healthy meals each day many children receive while in school. This year Blue Cross and Blue Shield of
North Carolina (BCBSNC) hopes to help address that need by collecting 10,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
 
In 2004, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina collected almost 17,000 pounds of food for various food bank organizations around the state. Food collection bins for this year's drive appeared at various BCBSNC workplaces on June 20th with a goal of collecting 10,000 pounds of food before the drive ends on July 8.
 
"We have typically held our food drive during the holiday season, when many other organizations are holding food drives," said Kathy Higgins, BCBSNC Senior Director of Community Relations. "But hunger does not take a vacation, so this year's summer food drive is timed to help when the Food Bank needs it most."
 
To aid in accomplishing its goal, BCBSNC has organized a "Food and Funds Day" on Wednesday, June 29, marking the midpoint of the campaign. Two days before the event, employees received a grocery bag at their workstations for them to take home and fill to the top with food. On "Food and Funds Day" employees are asked to drop off their bags at the BCBSNC Headquarters parking lot in Chapel Hill. There, a truck will be waiting to be loaded with employees' donations.
 
The proceeds from BCBSNC's summer food drive will go to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina which serves 879 partner agencies throughout 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina, and almost 400,000 North Carolinians at risk for hunger.
 
"The need for high-quality, nutritious food increases during the summer months as children are out of school and rely on supplemental food from community-based programs," says Earline Middleton, the Director of Agency Services and Programs at the Food Bank.
 
 
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.2 million members, including approximately 620,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 71 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.
 
About the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina:
Founded in 1980, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a private, not-for-profit organization, which serves 879 partner agencies throughout 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. Out of every dollar donated to the Food Bank, 96 cents goes directly to food and food programs. One of eight America's Second Harvest affiliates in North Carolina, the Food Bank solicits, collects, stores, and distributes food to nonprofit agencies assisting almost 400,000 people at risk from hunger. With branches in Wilmington, Raleigh, Durham, Greenville, and the Sandhills, the Food Bank distributed more than 26.4 million pounds of food to those in need in fiscal year 2003-04.
 
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