CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – This morning 400 volunteers from four local companies gathered to sort 40,000 pounds of rice that will provide 35,000 meals to families in Central and Eastern North Carolina. The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina worked with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and Cisco to host Sort-A-Rama 2012, a community volunteer event that will provide food to North Carolinians at risk for hunger. BASF and IBM are supporting sponsors of the event.
“In just a few hours, we were able to provide meals for thousands of citizens who struggle to put food on the table for their families,” said Peter Werbicki, president and CEO, Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC. “To have the support of community leaders like BCBSNC and Cisco reinforces the responsibility we all have to ensure the well-being of our communities.”
The Sort-A-Rama 2012 is a result of organizations coming together to support the Food Bank through volunteering, purchasing food and sponsoring the event. In addition to the main sorting event, the Sort-A-Rama 2012 also educated volunteers on many Food Bank programs, such as the Kids Meals & More initiative, which provides nutritious meals to children when they need them most, namely after school, on weekends and during the summer.  

“Working with Cisco and the Food Bank gives us the opportunity to provide nutritious food to North Carolinians in need, which is critical to a healthy lifestyle,” said Brad Wilson, BCBSNC president and CEO. “Ensuring everyone has access to healthy food will help us meet our goal of improving our state’s overall health while also giving back to the community.”
“The Sort-A-Rama 2012 was a unique opportunity for Cisco’s employees to demonstrate the importance of community engagement and how it benefits the Triangle community,” said Ed Paradise, Cisco vice president of engineering and RTP site executive. “We have a long-term partnership with the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina and are proud to support its programs to help those in need.”
For more information follow @BCBSNC, @FoodBankCENC and @CiscoCSR on Twitter, or visit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC’s webpage.

About the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina:
The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for 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 warehouses in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, the Sandhills (Southern Pines) and Wilmington. In fiscal year 2010-2011, the Food Bank distributed more than 42 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 500,000 struggle each day to provide enough food for their families. Twitter: @FoodBankCENC
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 3.6 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 78 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 was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 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
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