This afternoon representatives from Highmark Delaware and the Delaware 87ers basketball team visited the Food Bank of Delaware to present our President and CEO Patricia Beebe with a check for $45,000 in support of the Backpack Program.
The donation will enable the Food Bank to provide 266 children with weekend and holiday meals when school is not in session. In addition to the financial contribution, Highmark Delaware’s associates, members from its executive team and players from the 87ers packed bags full of food for the weekend meal program.
Backpacks are stocked with kid-friendly, nutritious food including shelf-stable milk and juice, meals such as macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs and beef stew, granola bars, apple sauce, cereal and more. They are distributed on Fridays or the last day before a holiday or vacation in a discreet manner at Delaware school sites. More than 4,800 children participate each week. During the 2014-2015 school year, the Food Bank of Delaware distributed 154,886 bags to at-risk children.
Today’s $45,000 donation is part of a larger $350,000 Highmark BluePrints for the Community grant program. In
total, four Delaware nonprofits received funding to meet critical needs such as increasing access to care for Delaware’s uninsured and underserved populations; reducing health care disparities in minority communities; supporting early childhood development; and recruiting and training health care professionals.
“We are thankful for Highmark’s support of the Backpack Program,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “The Backpack Program is our most in demand program. Unfortunately, funding does not always keep up with demand. Thanks to Highmark, we will be able to ensure that Delaware children have the needed nutrition to learn, play and grow.”
Since its inception in 2007 the BluePrints for the Community grant program has awarded 69 grants, totaling more than $10.7 million, to 50 organizations.
“Supporting a healthier Delaware has always been our top priority, and the organizations receiving these grants have a proven track record of making a positive impact in our communities,” said Tim Constantine, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “Highmark Delaware is proud to support their important work.”
To learn more about the Backpack Program, please click here.