Three-year, $300,000 Pledge Will Expand Healthier School Food Programs in North Carolina
Aug 13, 2014 – Driven by a shared commitment to helping all children grow up in a healthful environment, FoodCorps announces the support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) to expand its programming in North Carolina. FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who connect kids to real food and help them grow up healthy. The three-year, $300,000 commitment will enable FoodCorps to double its impact in North Carolina, a state where, despite its abundance of agriculture, 27 percent of children remain food insecure and nearly 16 percent of kids are overweight or obese.
This unique public private partnership will also deepen BCBSNC’s existing investment in individuals and communities across the state. Funding will support the FoodCorps fellow position, a statewide leader based in Raleigh, as well as stipends for 14 service members to be deployed in Brunswick, Gaston, Guilford, Moore, Mecklenberg, New Hanover, Warren, Wayne, and Wilson Counties.
BCBSNC will also join the FoodCorps Corporate Council, an assembly of corporate visionaries who unite around the collective goal of a healthy future for all children. Current Council members include Gary Hirshberg, Co-Founder and Chair of Stonyfield, Sarah Bird, Senior VP of Industry Relations at Annie’s Homegrown, Jeff Dunn, President and CEO of Bolthouse Farms, Fedele Bauccio, Co-Founder and CEO at Bon Appétit Management Company, and more.
“BCBSNC supports the mission of FoodCorps in North Carolina and across the country,” says Kathy Higgins, vice president of corporate affairs for BCBSNC. “We are dedicated to nurturing a healthy lifestyle starting with nutritious food for children that will grow with them and reduce health epidemics like obesity and diabetes.”
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in encouraging efforts that elevate the most fundamental piece of individual well being: real, healthy food,” says Debra Eschmeyer, FoodCorps Co-Founder and VP of External Affairs. “This new partnership presents an opportunity to grow FoodCorps’ impact in North Carolina by underscoring the immense value of food as health.”
FoodCorps is a nonprofit national service organization that strives to give all youth an enduring relationship with healthy food. In August, 182 service members will embark on their year of service at 125 sites in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Each state also has a FoodCorps fellow, a statewide team leader. FoodCorps service members teach hands-on lessons about food and nutrition, build and tend school gardens, and teach cooking lessons; and help change what’s on lunch trays giving kids healthy food from local farms.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.84 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, 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 recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012, 2013 and 2014. 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.