DURHAM, N.C. – During the 2021 college basketball season, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is teaming up with the athletic departments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and Duke University to deliver over 2,000 meals to those in need in the Triangle area.

This collaboration is an extension of Blue Cross NC’s meal delivery efforts to address food security throughout North Carolina. With help from its partners, Blue Cross NC has delivered over 16,000 meals to the people who need them the most.

“At Blue Cross NC, we believe everyone deserves an opportunity to live their healthiest lives – and that starts with access to healthy foods,” said Reagan Greene Pruitt, vice president of marketing and community engagement for Blue Cross NC. “It’s our hope that these partnerships will not only help by providing meals to underserved communities but will also improve awareness around the need to increase access.”

The individually packaged meals will be prepared by Blue Cross NC’s on-campus café staff and distributed at four events staffed by volunteers from Blue Cross NC, the universities’ athletic departments and local nonprofits, PORCH, Durham Children’s Initiative and YMCA of the Triangle. Together, these organizations will help improve food security in the Triangle area throughout the month of February.

On Feb. 6 and 20, NC State and Blue Cross NC will distribute meals through the YMCA of the Triangle. The YMCA of the Triangle has been working to provide food security for Wake County residents by utilizing its locations as regional food hubs for meal distributions.

“We’re proud to partner with Blue Cross NC and our peers in the Triangle area for such a worthy and necessary cause,” said NC State director of athletics Boo Corrigan. “We’re trying to be a part of the solution in ending hunger and providing meals to those in need.”

On Feb. 15, UNC and Blue Cross NC will distribute meals during PORCH’s monthly fresh produce distribution. PORCH is a grassroots organization that feeds hundreds of at-risk families, collecting donations through monthly neighborhood food drives to nourish the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community.

“Giving back to the community is something we value at Carolina—and we are so pleased to be able to support Blue Cross NC and PORCH to distribute meals,” said Bubba Cunningham, director of athletics at UNC. “Our longstanding partnership with Blue Cross NC gives us the opportunity to make a difference in our community, truly going above and beyond the playing field.”

On Feb. 18, Duke University and Blue Cross NC will distribute meals with Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI). DCI creates a services pipeline for children and families in Durham to drive success from birth to college or career at local and system levels.

"To be sure, the value of partnering with Blue Cross NC and our neighboring ACC institutions in this initiative is extraordinary," said Kevin White, vice president and director of athletics at Duke University. "Duke is proud to participate in this endeavor with supreme appreciation for the Durham Children’s Initiative and its efforts to provide for our communities."

To find out more about Blue Cross NC’s efforts to address the lack of food security in the Triangle and statewide, click here.

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.