UTICA, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded Cooperstown Food Pantry a Community Health Award of $2,000 to support their Farmers’ Market Voucher program. This program, that began in 2009, provides farmers market vouchers to families who participate in the Cooperstown Food Pantry to purchase fresh produce at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Families may pick up vouchers at their monthly visit to the food pantry from May through October. Students participating in the pantry’s BackPack program will also receive vouchers.
“The Farmers’ Market Voucher program is one of the key ways that we provide equitable and inclusive service to our clients,” explains Will Kleffner, Director of the Cooperstown Food Pantry. “By providing the funds needed to purchase fresh, local fruits and vegetables, we help remove one of the barriers to community health. We believe that everyone should have access to fresh, healthy food options!”
The mission of the Cooperstown Food Pantry is to address issues of food insecurity and poverty in Northern Otsego County. Currently in its 45th year, the Cooperstown Food Pantry provides an important safety net for area families facing food insecurity.
Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards provide funding to launch, expand, and sustain programs and services that promote health. These investments advance health equity by extending the reach of preventive health services or health-promoting programs to vulnerable populations. The health plan’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals, policies, or products.
“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Eve Van de Wal, Utica regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “We recognize that addressing social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, is vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities and we are pleased to support the Cooperstown Food Pantry with this essential community health funding.”
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is committed to supporting local organizations that improve community health. The company’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals, policies or products.
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Utica region encompasses Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and St. Lawrence counties.