Funding will help address food insecurity and COVID-19 emergency response efforts in the state
SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine and its philanthropic arm, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, announced new contributions to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, the South Portland Food Cupboard, the Boys & Girls Club of Bangor, and several other organizations to address food insecurity and emergency response efforts in Maine in the wake of COVID-19. The grants are part of a $352,000 commitment Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its Foundation have made in Maine to support the nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the pandemic.
“Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its 700 associates who call Maine home are deeply committed to doing our part to help our communities and Maine nonprofits meet critical health and social needs during this national crisis,” said Denise McDonough, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine. “With Maine already ranking No. 1 in New England and No. 12 in the nation for food insecurity – and the demand for help growing every day – helping Mainers access food assistance is one of our top priorities, as is supporting the health care workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. We will continue to be there for Mainers during these trying times.”
Anthem has been working with partner nonprofit organizations to provide funds supporting emergency response, access to food, protective and medical equipment, and mental health services. Anthem has already committed approximately $262,000 to organizations across the state, with another $90,000 slated for emerging needs in the coming weeks and months.
Highlights of Anthem’s COVID-19 response in Maine so far include:
- Anthem is matching up to $50,000 in donations made to the Good Shepherd Food Bank on May 5 for #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving to support COVID-19 response efforts. The matching donation will help to fund the Food Bank’s emergency food programs across Maine. Anthem’s match plus $50,000 in individual donations will help 2,631 families across the state by providing 89,473 meals.
- Anthem donated $10,000 to the South Portland Food Cupboard to help the organization meet increased demand for food assistance in the South Portland area.
- The Foundation is funding a $10,000 grant for the Boys & Girls Club of Bangor to provide food and items such as toiletries and diapers for 200 families in the Bangor area.
- At the beginning of April, Anthem partnered with ConvenientMD, a local urgent care and medical services provider, to open a COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot at Anthem’s South Portland office.
“Food is something so many of us take for granted, but thousands of our neighbors struggle to put enough nutritious food on their tables each week – and that struggle is now intensified as the coronavirus impacts Maine,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “The generous matching donation from Anthem will go a long way in helping us serve our most vulnerable during these unprecedented times.”
The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation also continues to support national partners such as the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Direct Relief, and Mental Health America to ensure access to emergency assistance for individuals and families and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies for health workers. So far, nine community health providers in Maine have received shipments of PPE and supplies from Direct Relief and/or AmeriCares, thanks in part to funding from the Foundation: Western Maine Family Health Center in Livermore Falls; Knox County Health Clinic in Rockland; Islands Community Medical Services in Vinalhaven; Bucksport Regional Health Center in Bucksport; Brewer Medical Center Pharmacy in Brewer; Regional Medical Center in Lubec; Eastport Health Care in Eastport; Katahdin Valley Health Center in Patten; and Portland Community Free Clinic in Portland.
In observance of National Volunteer Month in April, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation is doubling the matching contribution to $2 for every $1 donated to signature charities by associates through May 5, as well as doubling paid volunteer time to $20 per hour, which associates can then donate to the nonprofit(s) of their choice. So far this year, Anthem associates in Maine have donated more than 875 hours of volunteer time to nonprofit causes.