Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma Awards Grant to Regional Food Bank

Grant Will Support the Healthy Pantry Initiative

(OKLAHOMA CITY) – April 30, 2018 – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma awarded a $32,000 grant through its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® Initiative to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. The grant will support the Regional Food Bank’s Healthy Pantry Initiative that will increase healthy food options at pantries throughout the nonprofit’s 53-county service area in western and central Oklahoma.

“We are so appreciative to receive this support to help increase access to fresh, healthy foods to the fellow Oklahomans we serve,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “Too often the food our clients can afford for their families has little or no nutritional value. With great partners like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, we are making more nutritious food available.”

The Healthy Kids, Healthy Families Initiative is part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma’s commitment to partner with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and families in four key areas:  nutrition, physical activity, preventing and managing diseases and support safe environments.

“We are proud to participate in programs that make it easier for Oklahomans to live healthier lives. Through the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® grant program, we are proud to partner with the Regional Food Bank to support their efforts in providing healthy, nutritious food options,” said Ted Haynes, president, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma.

The goal of the Regional Food Bank’s Healthy Pantry Initiative is to increase the amount of healthy food options ordered by pantry coordinators. The development of a nutrition policy and an update to the online ordering system for partner agencies will help pantry coordinators see what food items meet the Regional Food Bank’s nutrition criteria. The Regional Food Bank will also work with pantries to provide additional nutrition services including training for coordinators, recipe cards with healthy food ingredients for clients and capacity assistance for those pantries who want to increase the availability of fresh food at the site.

Oklahoma is the sixth hungriest state in the nation with one in six Oklahomans living with hunger. To help end hunger, visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405-972-1111. The Regional Food Bank is also in need of volunteers to fight childhood hunger by preparing meals in Hope’s Kitchen. For more information visit regionalfoodbank.org/volunteer.

About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization and a member of Feeding America’s network of Food Banks. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 136,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of more than 1,300 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Since its inception in 1980, the Regional Food Bank has distributed more than 613 million pounds of food to feed Oklahomans living with hunger. For more information, visit http://www.regionalfoodbank.org; find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/regionalfoodbank or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rfbo.

About Healthy Kids, Healthy Families
Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) began in 2011 as a three-year initiative designed to improve health and wellness through community investments by Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. HKHF is now part of HCSC's ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of the children and families across the states where we operate.The Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma invests in and partners with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families in the following areas: nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management and supporting safe environments.

###