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Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation Commits Funding to Combat Food Insecurity as New Yorkers Continue to Confront COVID-19 Crisis

April 29, 2020

Funding is Part of $2 million Committed to COVID-19 Response
New York, N.Y. (April 30, 2020) – Empire BlueCross BlueShield together with its Foundation has committed more than $200,000 to organizations on the frontlines of providing New Yorkers with critical access to food during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These new contributions are in addition to the nearly $2 million in active grants to local organizations as part of Empire’s continuing commitment to support COVID-19 relief efforts across New York.
“We remain focused on our mission to measurably and materially improve the health of every New Yorker, and succeeding in this mission is more important now than ever before,” said Alan Murray, president & CEO of Empire BlueCross BlueShield’s commercial plan. “Many of our fellow New Yorkers continue to struggle with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including access to food, which is critical to good health. We’ll continue to support local efforts that address the health and safety of New Yorkers.”
Of the $200,000 dedicated to fighting food insecurity, Empire has made contributions of $50,000 each to City Harvest and Food Bank for New York City, which will support local families during the COVID-19 outbreak. Providing these vital resources to children, adults and frontline health care workers throughout the city helps to meet the growing and changing needs of the communities we serve. The remaining funds have been distributed to other organizations in New York, which are also providing critical food supplies to those who need it.
“During this public health crisis, Empire is committed to supporting its local partner organizations to ensure that those in need can access the basic necessities they require,” said Jennifer Kuhn, Empire BlueCross BlueShield Medicaid Plan President. “We have a commitment to supporting whole person health and access to food is a key ingredient in staying healthy. Through these partnerships, we’ll help to ensure that people have access to the food they need and that they’re able to safely obtain that food while abiding by social distancing measures.”
"We are incredibly thankful to Empire for its ongoing commitment to help us ensure that any New Yorker in need will have access to food and support for their families during these difficult times,” said Victoria Liu, Associate Director of Business Partnerships for City Harvest.
In addition to supporting local food banks, Empire recently announced a partnership with the Chinese American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA) to launch COVID-19 mobile testing units in all five boroughs. People can access the free tests with a CAIPA primary care physician’s referral.
The mission of this program is to increase access to screening in order to identify, monitor and provide early interventions to mitigate hospitalization. This helps alleviate a surge of people seeking services at local hospitals, which are already at overcapacity. By screening patients at these mobile units, providers can identify those that are at risk for hospitalization and collaborate with community hospital partners to distribute them to the appropriate level facility.
These latest contributions are part of the nearly $2 million in commitments by Empire and its Foundation to support COVID-19 relief efforts in New York. Empire is currently funding or will be funding programs to support:
  • After-school programs
  • Food pantries throughout New York
  • Food requirements
  • Human services and basic needs
  • Securing PPE/medical supplies for local hospital systems
  • Distributing iPads to support e-learning and socially appropriate communication
  • Essential worker supports
  • Social and emotional wellness (i.e., isolation, domestic abuse, child abuse, etc.)
The Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation also continues to work with partners such as the American Red Cross, Americares, Direct Relief and numerous others, to ensure access to emergency assistance for individuals and families, personal protective equipment and training for health workers on the frontlines, and food for kids and families affected by layoffs and school closures across the state.
Additionally, in observance of National Volunteer Month in April, the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation is doubling its matching contributions to $2 for every $1 donated by associates across the country, as well as doubling associate volunteer credits to $20 per hour, which associates can earn and donate to the nonprofit of their choice.
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About Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation and the Empire BlueCross Foundation, trade names of the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation L.L.C., independent licensees of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State, promotes Empire’s commitment to improving lives and communities. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that Empire serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up it Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program, which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation, please visit and its blog at
Media Contact:
Stephanie DuBois
Ph: (603) 541-2112