Three-year, $420K commitment will provide fresh produce to those facing hunger in FAKH service area
In an effort to ensure people in Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland’s service area have access to fresh, healthy produce, they today announced a continuation of the years-long partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem). With Anthem’s new three-year commitment of $420,000, FAKH will be able to host 150 fresh produce distribution events that will provide nearly 1.9 million pounds of produce to 75,000 households in need.
“We know that oftentimes fresh produce items can be expensive, and as such will be one of the first items left off the plates of people dealing with food insecurity,” said Jamie Sizemore, FAKH Executive Director. “Anthem understands the need for nutritious, healthy food. Thanks to their generosity, we will continue to have several produce options available to those we serve, which, in turn, will aid in overall health.”
Originally begun in 2019, the FAKH’s partnership with Anthem has facilitated nearly 100 fresh produce food distributions and meant that nearly 925,000 pounds of fresh produce have been put into the hands of those facing hunger in FAKH’s 42-county service area. The new agreement with Anthem and FAKH is part of a larger initiative that includes God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington and Dare to Care Food Bank in Louisville. Anthem has pledged nearly $1.5 million over three years to help in the fight against food and nutrition insecurity in Kentucky.
“Anthem recognizes the complexity of health and knows that living well is about more than just receiving medical care. The best health happens when we address its many drivers, including reliable access to healthy food,” said Neil Steffens, President of Anthem’s Medicare Central Region. “We’ve served Kentuckians for more than 80 years and will continue to help our nonprofit community serve our neighbors in need.”
Sizemore said that food insecurity continues to be a significant issue in the state, and has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Effects will be felt for years to come.
“Need for FAKH’s services has risen on average 20 percent since the start of the pandemic,” Sizemore said. “The partnership with Anthem has been a huge asset during this time of increased need and we look forward to continuing to work together to provide fresh produce to those facing hunger in our service area” Sizemore said.