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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Supports Tioga County Partnership for Community Health in Fight Against Childhood Poverty

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (May 12, 2016) — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield recently provided financial support to the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health to help the organization provide a brighter future for children living in poverty in Tioga County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 23 percent of children in Tioga County live in poverty. Median household income in Tioga County also lags behind the national average by more than $6,000.

Tioga County Partnership for Community Health's Fit for Life Program offers structured activities to at-risk youth in the northern portion of Tioga County, the area of the county experiencing the highest levels of poverty and the least access to resources. The staff provides alternative activities for youth that hopefully divert them from participating in risky behaviors such as vandalism, loitering and drug and alcohol use. By offering structured, rigorous physical activity for at least one hour each day, participants will also improve personal health and help mitigate increases in childhood obesity.

In addition the Fit For Life Program partners with the USDA Summer Feeding Program offered through the Northern Tioga School District to ensure that participants receive at nutritious lunch and snack five days per week over the summer. Additionally, staff will provide fun and engaging lessons on healthy snacking, with youth making their own snacks to share with their families.

With the help of a $5,000 grant from Highmark, the Fit For Life Program will be offered in three locations — Ekland, Knoxville and Westfield — five hours a day, five days a week for 10 weeks from June to August.

"Highmark is pleased to support the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health and the great work they do," said Susan S. Hubley, director of Community Affairs. "Families in poverty face a myriad of issues, and by supporting the Fit For Life Program, we can help ensure that children have the opportunity to learn healthy habits that will last a lifetime."

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Highmark Inc. doing business as Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield serves approximately 3.3 million members through the company’s health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue card program. It employs more than 4,200 people in western, north central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross 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:
Anthony Matrisciano
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
570-200-6310
anthony.matrisciano@highmark.com