RICHMOND, Va. – Feed More received a $450,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to continue improving the health and wellbeing of the communities served through the ‘Food as Medicine’ program. Feed More, a member of the Feeding America network, is one of 21 food banks across the country to receive this funding from the Anthem Foundation.
“This program is about more than just food – it’s about ensuring better health outcomes for the neighbors we serve who live with chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes,” said David Waidelich, Chief Collaboration and Programs Officer at Feed More. “Because of the generous support from the Anthem Foundation, our ‘Food as Medicine’ program will continue providing our neighbors with the nutritious and wholesome foods they need to thrive. And this new round of grant funding allows us to look at ways to evolve the program and establish strategic partnerships across the healthcare space to reach even more neighbors across Central Virginia.”
Since 2019, the Anthem Foundation’s support has enabled Feed More to address food insecurity and support the health of neighbors in need. Through partnerships with healthcare organizations, who proactively screen patients for food insecurity, Feed More provides follow-up interventions to address the food needs of those patients who screen positive. To date, more than 7,000 patients have received food insecurity screenings at their local clinics and hospitals, with more than 1,700 patients receiving a box of shelf-stable food on-site and a referral to local food resources for ongoing assistance as needed.
“We are thrilled to continue working with our community partners to address health-related social needs and promote health equity through access to nutritious foods here in Central Virginia,” said Monica Schmude, President of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia. “It is our shared goal to address drivers of health and issues that impact our communities, and this partnership is just one of the many ways we’re committed to improving the lives of the people across the Commonwealth.”
The Anthem Foundation grant will support Feed More’s Health Initiatives Department as it develops partnerships with additional healthcare providers across Central Virginia, with a particular focus on Petersburg, the Tri-Cities and rural communities. Feed More’s current healthcare partners include VCU Health, Capital Area Health Network (CAHN), Central Virginia Health Services (CVHS), Crater Health District, Pathways and Piedmont Health District. Additionally, this phase of the program will help Feed More and its local healthcare partners implement enhanced data collection, sharing and analysis to better understand the needs of people facing hunger and deliver effective solutions.
In addition to Anthem’s ongoing investment in the Food as Medicine program, the company has adopted a volunteer delivery route with Feed More’s Meals on Wheels program. On an ongoing basis, Anthem employees will deliver nutritious meals to senior and homebound neighbors across Richmond.