Blue Cross donates $275K to fight food insecurity
Blue Cross NC has contributed $275,000 to the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project this year to help combat food insecurity caused by the pandemic while also helping farmers.
The onset of COVID-19 caused food insecurity in Western North Carolina to increase by 60 percent, with 250,000 people lacking access to adequate nutrition. Meanwhile, in a March survey from ASAP completed by 85 WNC farmers, 80 percent reported a decrease in sales due to the pandemic and two-thirds reported that if the disruptions lasted for several months, they would result in bankruptcy or closure.
The Blue Cross money will fund ASAP’s Appalachian Farms Feeding Families Program, which buys food from farmers and farms and then delivers it to overburdened food pantry and feeding sites across WNC. The initiative is helping to feed 3,000 to 4,000 families each week.