BATON ROUGE, La. – In an extended celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Healthy Blue and Vantage Health Plan are helping Louisianians struggling with food insecurity – a problem affecting one in six families in the state.
“Everyone deserves access to fresh, nutritious foods, regardless of their background or where they come from. This collaboration and service is empowering our community through increasing access to food and feeding our families in need,” said East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “Dr. King created a foundation of equity, justice, and service to others – this is yet another opportunity not only to honor his work, but to walk in his legacy. I am extremely thankful to our partners who are supporting the mission of creating a community of peace, prosperity, and progress for everyone.”
Through FeedingLouisiana and The Pack Shack’s “Feed the Funnel” program, volunteers will prepare 125,000 meals to distribute through Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank, Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana, Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana and other organizations addressing hunger in Louisiana.
“We are appreciative for the support from the three health plans in providing for 125,000 meals to be distributed through the Feeding Louisiana network over the course of this year,” said Korey Patty, Feeding Louisiana executive director. “Ensuring that all of Louisiana’s citizens have enough nutritious food to eat is the first step toward positive health outcomes, and we are excited to continue our work of improving health and fighting hunger in partnership with these health plans.”
In past years, health plan employees packed meals on Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a “day on” in service to others. They could not gather in person this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 surge. Instead, the health plans will host days of service throughout 2022, with food-packing events in different regions of the state as part of the meal sponsorship.
“Making sure families in our state, many of whom have struggled greatly in the past two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating hurricanes, can get healthy food when they need it is an important way we live out our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians, ” said Michael Tipton, head of Community Relations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and President of the Blue Cross Foundation. “We proudly join Vantage and Healthy Blue to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of community service all year.”
“Healthy Blue is proud to collaborate with our local partners to address factors driving health inequities in our communities,” said Dr. Christy Valentine, Healthy Blue Louisiana president. “In honor of Dr. King’s Day of Service, we celebrate our associates’ commitment to supporting our communities as we strive to advance health equity so everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.”
“Vantage Health Plan is proud to partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Healthy Blue to support The Pack Shack,” said Allison Nunnelee, Vantage Health Plan spokesperson. “Through the packing parties in Monroe, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette, we will be providing 125,000 meals to those in need over the upcoming months.”
Living the Dream
Many people are familiar with King’s famous “I have a dream” quote, which was part of his Aug. 28, 1963 speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Blue Cross’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team invites Louisianians to share how they are living that dream today, whether through community service, volunteer work or civic leadership.
Visit BCBSLA.com/MLK to see original graphic designs that you can download and share. Post the graphics to your personal social media and tag @BCBSLA with the hashtag #LivingTheDream to share how you are fulfilling King’s legacy of service in your community.
VIDEO: In “I Am The Dream” (3:50), Blue Cross employees share their experiences serving others in fulfillment of King’s dream.
Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel to see short health videos. Subscribe to know when new videos are added. You can connect with Blue Cross on social media @BCBSLA for regular updates. Blue Cross posts regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We have been recognized for the past three years as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.
About Vantage Health Plan
Vantage Health Plan is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) formed over 25 years ago by physicians who wanted to improve healthcare and help lower healthcare costs. Vantage prides itself in offering friendly, excellent customer service and high-quality healthcare products. Coverage is available to members who live or work in any of the 64 Louisiana parishes and select counties in Arkansas and Mississippi. For more information, please visit VantageHealthPlan.com or facebook.com/VantageHealthPlan.
About Healthy Blue
Healthy Blue is a managed healthcare provider that has been serving the state since 2012, and currently serves the state’s Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion and LaCHIP programs. Healthy Blue, a joint venture between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Anthem Partnership Holding Company, LLC (parent company, Anthem, Inc.), recognizes the challenges low-income and underserved individuals face, and tailors its programs such that health plan members are assured care that is not only accessible, but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. Healthy Blue provides ongoing community relations and outreach to encourage members to become active participants in their healthcare. Also, through health education programs, members are empowered to choose and sustain healthy lifestyles. To learn more about Healthy Blue, visit www.myhealthybluela.com and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyBlueLA and LinkedIn @healthy-blue-louisiana.