Anthem Foundation Directs $200,000+ to Address Food Insecurity in Georgia Resulting from COVID-19 Pandemic

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

The Anthem Foundation is directing more than $200,000 to several organizations in Georgia on the frontlines in the fight against food insecurity as Georgians continue struggle with the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc., the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Amerigroup in Georgia.

These latest contributions are part of a nearly $2 million commitment recently made by the Foundation so far to support COVID-19 relief efforts across Georgia. These funds are supporting local communities and families as they respond to the challenges of COVID-19, addressing emerging needs, including:

Food requirements

Human services and basic needs

PPE/medical supplies

Education and technology

Essential worker supports

Social and emotional wellness (i.e., isolation, domestic abuse, child abuse, etc.)

“There is an unprecedented need for support in our local communities and across Georgia, we are doing our part to help Georgians through this difficult time,” said Pam Stahl, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Georgia. “From children who rely on school lunches, to seniors and people with disabilities who have challenges leaving their homes, food access is one of the biggest needs we hear about as it relates to COVID-19.”

“Amerigroup is committed to supporting Georgians and the local organizations they rely on as we all continue to grapple with the challenges brought on by this pandemic,” said Mel Lindsey, president of Amerigroup Georgia’s Medicaid plan. “To help address the needs of people throughout the state, we are thrilled to announce this significant donation from our parent company’s Foundation to these great organizations. Through these partnerships, we’ll ensure that people can safely access food while limiting their need to go outside the home.”

As part of continuing efforts to support local communities, the $210,000 will aid seven community partners as they work to urgently address specific COVID-19 relief efforts underway:

Actions Ministries $25,000 for its SuperPacks program which helps the state’s most vulnerable children gain access to the proper nutrition needed to maintain good health and improve overall wellbeing;

The Atlanta Community Food Bank: $25,000 to directly support the organization’s food insecurity mobile emergency response efforts;

Georgia Family Connection Partnership: $10,000 to help provide food, shelter and essential items to individuals in 11 Southwest Georgia counties;

The Georgia Mountain Food Bank: $25,000 to support the organization’s Neighborhood Fresh, which provides food-insecure families access to fresh produce;

Thanks Mom and Dad: $50,000, to address food insecurity and housing for seniors through this pandemic;

United Way of Greater Atlanta: $25,000 earmarked for emergency assistance, health services and additional critical care needs such as childcare and food;

YMCA of Metro Atlanta: $50,000 to support the Foster Family Connections program, which ensures that children living in foster care have access to healthy food.

In addition to these donations, Amerigroup Georgia, with the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) and the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services recently launched a program that will provide free laptops and three months of free internet access to children living in foster care. The initiative will enable children living in foster care to continue e-learning and at-home education while adhering to social distancing measures.

“Amerigroup Georgia is committed to supporting programs that go beyond traditional healthcare,” said Lindsey. “We recognize the importance of equipping the people of our communities with the services needed to not only promote physical health and wellness but to also support them emotionally and socially. These laptops will remove social barriers to overall well-being and enable high levels of academic achievement for children living in foster care.”

Anthem Foundation has also doubled the matching contribution to $2 for every $1 donated by its associates, as well as doubling paid volunteer time to $20 per hour, which associates can donate to the nonprofit of their choice.

“We know there are those within our Anthem family who are eager to help fight this pandemic – on the front lines, from their homes and through financial assistance,” Stahl added. “We are grateful and extend our sincere thanks to those who choose to volunteer their time, money and talents during this critical time.”