Winston-Salem, NC – H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem (H.O.P.E.) announced that it has received $20,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) to help fund nutritious meals for children living in food deserts across Forsyth County.
The investment helps H.O.P.E. fulfill its mission to close the hunger gap for children on the weekends – driving nutrition into their neighborhoods and into their hands. The goal is to start them on the fundamental path for positive health and wellness and minds ready to learn.
“We are grateful to Blue Cross NC for the opportunity to feed more kids and their parents in the Winston-Salem community,” said Tyler Beyea, Development Director of H.O.P.E. “That is the way to turn a city into a community, one meal at a time.”
H.O.P.E. procures, preps and delivers over 1,200 meals to children and 1,500 lbs. of produce to parents each weekend – totaling over 60,000 meals a year. The nonprofit deliberately delivers on weekends to 30 sites in food deserts across Winston-Salem (identified as areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food) to serve as the gap between the Forsyth Backpack Program and school meals.
With one in four Winston-Salem children not knowing where their next meal is coming from and approximately 30,000 students enrolled in a free or reduced lunch program, H.O.P.E’s meal distributions are critical to the community.
Since its meals are strictly healthy and filling, H.O.P.E. provides quality meats and cheeses, yogurts, applesauce, milk/water, and treats that are low sugar, sodium and allergen free. The nonprofit’s focus is to make sure produce is a large part of what children and their parents receive.
“Blue Cross NC recognizes that good health starts with good nutrition,” said Cheryl Parquet, director of community engagement and marketing activation at Blue Cross NC. “We are proud to support H.O.P.E.’s efforts in tackling childhood hunger and increasing access to healthy food for our families in Winston-Salem.”
Every dollar contributed to the nonprofit provides a healthy meal to a child in need. The funds stay local as the need is local.
Approximately 32% of the children H.O.P.E. serves are Hispanic. The nonprofit said the Hispanic League has been instrumental in its efforts to serving the Hispanic community effectively.
H.O.P.E. also engages with the community to encourage healthier eating habits and ideas for families to work together such as starting an urban garden, playing fun exercise games, and saving change. With limited staff, the organization relies on volunteer assistance, community support, local growers, and food banks for some of its food needs.
For information on how to support H.O.P.E. through donations, volunteer opportunities or item drives, please visit www.hopews.org – under Ways to Help.
About H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem
H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem was founded in 2014 with the goal to use community-wide volunteer support to prepare and bring nutritious weekend meals to the thousands of children in Forsyth County who are at risk for hunger. Winston-Salem is one of the top cities in the entire United States for hunger in families with children. North Carolina and Louisiana are now the top states for hunger in children ages 0-4. 1 of every 4 children in North Carolina has insufficient food to meet nutritional needs. With the support of donors, volunteers, and community leaders, so far HOPE has served over 342,000 meals and over 585,000 lbs. of produce. HOPE is looking to grow the number of meals as there is an increase in need per the neighborhoods we deliver to. See www.hopews.org, FB= @Hopeofwinstonsalem Instagram= @hope_ws
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to making health care better, simpler, and more affordable. We have been driving better health in North Carolina for generations, working to tackle our communities’ greatest health challenges. We serve our customers and communities of more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1.1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at www.bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.