iHeartMedia, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Common Threads Host "Manners Matter" Field Trip for College Park Elementary

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Monday, May 20th, 2024

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has partnered with iHeartMedia and national nutrition education nonprofit Common Threads to provide College Park Elementary School students, families and staff with cooking and nutrition education designed to encourage lifelong healthy habits


Beginning in 2022, the partners built and continue to stock an in-school food pantry as a permanent healthy food resource for the school community. Hands-on cooking and nutrition education was added to the initiative last year to inspire the community to embrace healthy cooking.

The school’s 5th graders took a field trip to the Georgia International Convention Center, where they were treated to a multi-course banquet style meal as part of Common Threads "Manners Matter" program. Manners Matter is an interactive experience aimed at teaching students about basic etiquette and the importance of not only enjoying a meal, but also the company dining with you.

Throughout the meal, Common Threads chefs and staff led the young diners to try new foods as they learned about different courses and Anthem volunteers were guests at each table to help them practice the art of making conversation.

The celebration event is the culmination of a series of interactive culinary programming, highlighted by students preparing and sharing recipes they have learned. To date, the initiative has provided more than 50,000 pounds of food and 4,300 hours of accompanying education to the College Park Elementary School community.

"We develop partnerships that address social inequities in the communities where our members live and work," said Robert Bunch, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. "Working with Common Threads and iHeartMedia to teach students the skills to cook nutritious meals builds a healthy foundation that leads to healthier communities."

Common Threads’ cooking and nutrition education curriculum teaches students to identify and cook with affordable and healthy ingredients, increase their vegetable, fruit, whole grain, and lean protein intake, and lower their sugar intake. The curriculum embeds experiential learning and culturally responsive recipes and teaching practices to effectively increase students’ knowledge and skills to prepare nutritious meals at home that will improve their physical and mental health outcomes.

Linda Novick O’Keefe, Common Threads’ Chief Executive Officer explained "here at Common Threads, we aim to improve community health through the power of nutrition and food. Our multi-year partnership with iHeart and Anthem continues to allow us to build more equitable and vibrant communities."

iHeartIMPACT, a division of iHeartMedia, focuses on aligning brands with nonprofit organizations and ensures that while brands are investing in media, they are doing so alongside national and local nonprofit organizations who are positively impacting communities across the country.