Home Anthem Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield donates $125K to Virginia community colleges

Anthem Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield donates $125K to Virginia community colleges

Rebecca Barnabi
Anne Rogers of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education receives a ceremonial check from Josh Wright, Community Relations Coordinator of Anthem Healthkeepers Plus on November 19 in Roanoke.

The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education will use $125,000 donated by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to combat food and housing insecurity.

The funds will also support additional basic needs for rural students, according to a press release.

“It’s hard to concentrate on your studies when you’re having trouble paying for food, housing, childcare, transportation and other basic needs,” Executive Director of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education Jennifer Sager-Gentry said in the press release. “Anthem has helped to boost our college food pantries and other emergency food services for the past several years, and we’re very grateful for their continued support for our students again this year.”

Anthem’s donation will boost student awareness of Single Stop, an online screener tool that quickly connects students with federal, state and local assistance programs. The tool has been used by more than 9,700 Virginia community college students in 2022 and connected them with more than $21 million in benefits.

“At Anthem, we are committed to supporting the whole health of all the communities we serve, including our students in rural, underserved areas of the state,” Jennie Reynolds, President of Anthem HealthKeepers Plus, said in the press release. “Surveys nationwide show that a fifth of community college students cut back or skip meals and often run out of food altogether. More than a quarter of community college students have trouble paying their rent and utility bills. Through this grant, we aim to reduce these hardships and strengthen the health and wellbeing of these students.”

Fourteen Virginia community colleges will receive the Anthem grants to promote Single Stop:

  • Blue Ridge Community College
  • Danville Community College
  • Eastern Shore Community College
  • Laurel Ridge Community College
  • Mountain Empire Community College
  • Mountain Gateway Community College
  • New River Community College
  • Patrick & Henry Community College
  • Paul D. Camp Community College
  • Rappahannock Community College
  • Southside Virginia Community College
  • Southwest Virginia Community College
  • Virginia Highlands Community College
  • Wytheville Community College

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.