Regence supports the Oregon Food Bank as food insecurity grows in the wake of COVID-19
Main photo: The Regence Oregon Sales team volunteering with the Oregon Food Bank in June 2019.
As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, so does its impact on the health of our communities. Barriers to food access have increased significantly as a result of the virus, as this public health crisis continues to leave millions of children, families and elderly adults at risk.
More than 860,000 people rely on the Oregon Food Bank Network each year, and tens of thousands of additional families are expected to turn to their local food pantries, many for the first time, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to this critical need, Regence BlueCross BlueShield has committed an additional $50,000 to our long standing partner, Oregon Food Bank, to provide immediate support, helping to ensure the nonprofit can continue to serve the evolving needs of our communities.
In an effort to build community-wide resiliency to hunger, OFB has spent the last 30 years building a statewide network of 21 regional food banks and 1,400 food assistance sites across Oregon and SW Washington. OFB intends to maximize the expertise and collective resources of the OFB Network to strategically meet the evolving needs of our community through this crisis.
The Oregon Food Bank is engaging in the following actions to help our communities emerge stronger:
- Shifting food sourcing and distribution to keep as much nutritious food flowing as possible statewide as they encounter an estimated 20-30% increase in clients needing food assistance
- Adjusting staffing and volunteer allocations to better support local food assistance sites while adhering to social distancing best practices
- Working with federal, state and local officials to remove barriers to food access and reach people facing hunger
In addition to addressing immediate community needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re also empowering our employees to give back. This week, through May 1, we are matching employee donations 100% (up to $100,000) to nonprofits that are working to ensure all Americans can stay healthy and fed during this crisis, including the Oregon Food Bank.
Check back on the Regence blog regularly, as we share more about how we’re supporting our communities in this time of crisis.