BCBSNC, Food Banks and Local Companies Collaborate to Fight Hunger in North Carolina at 2015 Sort-A-Rama Events

Over 1,100 corporate volunteers package meals to stop summer hunger across the state

BCBSNC Employees Volunteer at Sort-A-Rama in Raleigh
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) teamed up with companies in the Triangle and in the Triad to package a total of 170,000 meals in Raleigh and 58,000 pounds of food in Winston-Salem to feed children and families in North Carolina.
  • More than 1,100 corporate volunteers at two locations packaged meals for local families across 52 counties.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – On Thursday, May 21, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) teamed up with companies in the Triangle and in the Triad to package a total of 170,000 meals in Raleigh and 58,000 pounds of food in Winston-Salem to feed children and families in North Carolina who find it more difficult to put meals on the table during the summer months.

More than 1,100 corporate volunteers at two locations packaged meals for distribution to local families across 52 counties. At the fourth annual Sort-A-Rama event hosted by the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina (FBCENC), more than 900 corporate volunteers united to sort and package over 170,000 meals for hungry families in the 34 counties. Simultaneously, at the Sort-A-Rama event hosted by Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina (Second Harvest), more than 240 employee volunteers packaged 58,000 pounds of food for their neighbors in 18 counties.

FBCENC and Second Harvest timed the events to provide meals to area children and families during June and July—a time when school cafeterias are closed and children who rely on the free and reduced meal program have less access to nutritious meals.

BCBSNC has supported both food banks’ signature annual events since their foundation. This year in Raleigh BCBSNC was joined by Triangle companies BASF, Cisco and Food Lion. Additional sponsors included Allscripts, Dude Solutions, Gregory Poole Equipment, Extreme Networks, PDD, RTI International, Coca-Cola, Duke Energy, Fifth Third Bank, Research Triangle Foundation, and Tupelo Honey. In Winston Salem, BCBSNC was joined by new event supporter Food Lion.

Quotes:

“Sort-A-Rama raises awareness about access in our state to nutritious food, which is necessary to live an active, healthy and productive life,” said Barbara Morales Burke, vice president of health policy and chief compliance officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC board member. “We’re proud to come together with others as community leaders to build a healthier North Carolina by providing fellow North Carolinians who are in need with food to feed their families.“

“Every day there are people in North Carolina who wonder how they will receive their next meal,” said Kat Gesh-Wilson, vice president of federal segments at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC board member. “Increasing access to nutritious food is an important step to help eradicate hunger in our state. Sort-A-Rama brings volunteers together to provide nutritious meals to those in need, fueling the health of many families and children in our communities.”

PHOTOS:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina employees sort and package food at the Sort-A-Rama event in Raleigh on May 21.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina employees prepare bags to fill with food for local families at the Sort-A-Rama event in Winston-Salem on May 21.

About BCBSNC:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.91 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue 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. We have been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute every year since 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina:

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina (FBCENC) is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for more than 30 years. The Food Bank serves a network of more than 800 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through distribution centers in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, the Sandhills (Southern Pines), and Wilmington. In fiscal year 2013-2014, the Food Bank distributed more than 53 million pounds of food and non-food essentials through these agencies. Sadly, hunger remains a serious problem in central and eastern North Carolina. In these counties, more than 651,000 people struggle to access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for an active and healthy life. www.foodbankcenc.org.

About Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC:

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC is the leading hunger-relief organization for an 18-county service area. In partnership with more than 400 local food assistance programs (food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and special feeding programs for children and seniors), Second Harvest Food Bank works to address immediate needs for food assistance and pursues an end to hunger through outreach, education and advocacy. Collectively, our network is a source of food and hope for nearly 300,000 neighbors in need each year; one-third are children. Special Second Harvest Food Bank programs include initiatives to combat childhood hunger; the Triad Community Kitchen culinary job training program; Nutrition Education Services and others. To learn more, visit www.hungernwnc.org. Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Food.Bank.NWNC or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nwncfoodbank.

 

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