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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation supports hunger relief initiatives at BRCC

Blue Ridge Community CollegeBlue Ridge Community College has received $8,000 to expand hunger relief initiatives and promote food security among students thanks to the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation.

The grant funding will support two major initiatives to help address food insecurity at BRCC: cafeteria vouchers for food-insecure students, and a series of six wellness luncheons.

Anthem awarded a total of $100,000 to community colleges across the state to provide flexible funds for supporting hunger relief efforts and connecting students to sustaining public benefits.

“Community college students often juggle work, family, and educational responsibilities. Many of them rely on minimum wage jobs and struggle to make ends meet,” BRCC President Dr. John Downey said. “We are grateful that Anthem recognizes the need for our hard-working students to have that extra support that often makes a difference between them persevering toward graduation and a better life, or dropping out.”

Food insecurity represents a significant challenge for many students. A fall 2020 survey of all 23 community colleges conducted by the Hope Center revealed that one-third of students are faced with food insecurity. Furthermore, 63 percent do not apply for public benefits because they are unaware of their eligibility.

By providing students with the resources needed to succeed, Anthem is creating equal access to economic mobility.

“Blue Ridge has been a wonderful partner in meeting the needs of all students. We are inspired by the college’s efforts to address food insecurity and realize this is critical to helping students reach graduation,” said Dr. Jennifer Gentry, VCCS vice chancellor and Virginia Foundation for Community College Education executive director.

This marks the third consecutive year that the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation has partnered with the VFCCE to address food insecurity; by supporting hunger relief, Anthem is helping students finish college, pursue fulfilling careers, and build healthier futures.

augusta free press
augusta free press