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Highmark Blue Shield Awards $30,000 to Central Pennsylvania Food Bank

Highmark Blue Shield

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Feb. 12, 2016) — Highmark Blue Shield recently awarded $30,000 to support the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank's ElderShare Program, which supports low-income seniors. The ElderShare Program provides a monthly box of healthy food to offer assistance to food insecure seniors. The ElderShare Program box contains approximately 30 pounds of shelf-stable, nutritious food items and is delivered during the last week of the month when food resources are the most limited. The ElderShare box also includes information on senior nutrition and other food assistance programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to help with food purchases. The Food Bank's ElderShare Program assures that food insecure seniors receive supplemental food items each month to help improve their health and the quality of life.

"The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is incredibly grateful for this tremendous gift from Highmark Blue Shield," said Joe Arthur, Food Bank executive director. "Highmark's support over the years has been instrumental in the Food Bank's ability to expand services in response to the continued need for emergency food. These funds will have a positive impact on fighting hunger in our community, and especially for seniors struggling to make ends meet and making tough choices."

Last year, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank distributed 67,000 ElderShare boxes to 7,500 senior citizens in central PA through a network of 74 program partners. The financial support from Highmark Blue Shield will help the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank expand the ElderShare Program by underwriting the purchase of items like fresh produce. By providing this monthly box, the Food Bank will help seniors living on a limited, fixed income maintain a healthy diet and stretch their food dollars.

"As the region's leading health insurer, we at Highmark Blue Shield consider it our responsibility to reinvest in our communities to help ensure that individuals — from young to old – remain as strong and healthy as possible," said Susan Hubley, director of community affairs for Highmark Blue Shield. "By supporting the ElderShare Program, we are able to help fulfill a need in our community that will have significant and lasting results for many seniors. We are grateful to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank for its service and partnership."

About Central Pennsylvania Food Bank

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce hunger in 27 counties across Pennsylvania. By working with more than 800 local agencies, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank provides nearly 650,000 nutritious meals to people in need every week. For more information on the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and its mission to reduce hunger in Pennsylvania, visit centralpafoodbank.org or call 717.564.1700. Connect with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @centralpafb.

About Highmark Blue Shield

Highmark Blue Shield serves approximately 1.1 million members through the company's health care benefits business and employs nearly 3,000 people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Highmark Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:
David Misner
Highmark Inc.
717-302-3638
david.misner@highmarkhealth.org