Independence Blue Cross Foundation Supports Philabundance ‘Fresh For All’ Program
Philadelphia, PA — January 31, 2013 —The Independence Blue Cross Foundation today announced it has awarded a $15,000 grant to Philabundance to support the Fresh For All program. Like a traveling farmers’ market, Fresh For all promotes healthy eating and provides fresh fruits and vegetables to families in need at 12 locations across the Delaware Valley. IBC Foundation president Lorina Marshall-Blake presented a check to Bill Clark, president and executive director of Philabundance, at the Philabundance Hunger Relief Center at 3616 South Galloway Street.
“To truly transform health care in our region, we have to start with making sure people eat right and have the food, resources, and services they need to be healthy,” said Marshall-Blake. “A balanced diet is absolutely essential to good health, and Philabundance is helping thousands of people fill a basic need by providing foods they might not otherwise find or be able to afford in their neighborhoods.”
Fresh For All sites are located in low-income neighborhoods specifically targeted for their lack of access to fresh produce. The program organizers visit the same locations each week with fresh produce and bakery goods. Volunteers, who are often clients, give out the food, which is free to anyone registered for the program.
“We are very grateful for the support of the IBC Foundation, as well as the invaluable help we regularly get from IBC’s Blue Crew volunteers who sort and pack food that we distribute to our neighborhood agency partners,” said Clark. “So many of our region’s most vulnerable populations, including children and seniors, aren’t getting their daily allowance of fruits and vegetables that the rest of us take for granted. Produce is the first thing cut from the grocery list when money gets tight. Without those critical foods, it’s much more difficult to maintain a productive and healthy lifestyle.”
In October 2012, IBC announced a significant commitment to improving child wellness in the region with the creation of the groundbreaking IBC Foundation Healthy Futures Initiative. The three-year, nearly $2 million Healthy Futures commitment is a comprehensive, collaborative approach to making a measurable difference in child wellness. It includes a component called Eat Right, which will help influence childhood eating habits while improving nutritional awareness among children, parents, and community stakeholders.
Philabundance launched Fresh For All in December 2007 in Woodlyn, Delaware County. There are now 12 sites throughout the region that each serve approximately 200 households. Fifty-one percent of those households include children and 30 percent include senior citizens. In 2012, Fresh For All distributed more than 2.2 million pounds of food.
About the Independence Blue Cross Foundation
Launched in October 2011, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is an independent, private foundation whose mission is to transform health care through innovation in the communities it serves. Connect with us on Twitter at @ibxfdn
The IBC Foundation and Independence Blue Cross are both committed to improving the health and wellness of the people of southeastern Pennsylvania. The foundation targets the following areas of impact:
- Caring for our most vulnerable: Supporting nonprofit health clinics that deliver quality, cost-effective primary, medical, and dental care to uninsured and underinsured people.
- Enhancing health care delivery: Strengthening the nursing workforce through education, career development, and research.
- Building healthy communities: Partnering with community leaders and programs to address community health and wellness needs.
Philabundance reduces hunger and food insecurity in the Delaware Valley by providing food access to people in need in partnership with organizations and individuals. Philabundance provides a full plate of services through neighborhood distribution programs and a network of close to 500 member agencies in 9 counties. Philabundance serves approximately 65,000 people per week at a cost of 50 cents per meal. There are more than 900,000 people in the Delaware Valley who are at risk for chronic hunger and malnutrition. In 2011, Philabundance distributed 21 million pounds of food. For more information about Philabundance, visit www.philabundance.org or call 215-339-0900. Visit us on Facebook, Facebook.com/Philabundance and follow us on Twitter, Twitter.com/Philabundance. If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, please call Philabundance’s Food Help Line, 800-319-FOOD (3663).