Meals insecure residents in Northeast Kansas almost confronted a multi-week hole in meals packing containers after a federal program didn’t obtain funding on time, however Blue Cross and Blue Defend of Kansas stepped in to fill the hole in financing.
Congress accredited the fifth spherical of “purchases” for USDA’s Farmers to Households Meals Field program when it handed the COVID-19 reduction invoice in late December. However will probably be weeks earlier than the $ 1.5 billion in federal funding can get this system working once more.
Blue Cross and Blue Defend awarded as much as $ 350,000 to Topeka Rescue Mission’s Operation Meals Safe initiative to make sure there are not any gaps within the meals provide in Northeast Kansas.
“COVID-19 has impacted the well being, security and financial stability of Kansans, particularly these in high-poverty neighborhoods,” Virginia Barnes, director of Blue Well being Initiatives at Blue Cross and Blue Defend of Kansas stated in a press release. launch Thursday from the Topeka Rescue Mission. “We’re delighted that our assist will go in direction of guaranteeing that our Kansas colleagues have entry to wholesome meals that can straight tackle that impression.”
Operation Meals Safe Director Marissa Dake stated the Topeka Rescue Mission didn’t have the cash obtainable to keep away from a program hiatus.
He stated funding was necessary as a result of meals and diet are the “cornerstone” of bodily and psychological well being.
“Meals insecurity will not be one thing that may be streamlined or processed in counseling or on the cellphone with a buddy, it’s a very primary want,” Dake stated. “In case you have a look at a spot that we have been seeing, it will have a direct impression on the households we serve.”
The federal program centered on retrieving meals from provide chains, equivalent to closed faculty cafeterias and different virus-affected organizations, and redirecting it to organizations equivalent to Topeka Rescue Mission.
Dake stated the Operation Meals Safe program offers native assist and tries to get meals the “final mile.” She stated not everybody has time to attend in lengthy strains for meals and the rescue mission’s program focuses on neighbors serving to neighbors.
Operation Meals Safe has delivered roughly three.eight million meals over the previous seven months, in response to the press launch.
Dake stated the meals security program can do extra than simply present meals. In a single case, he stated, an interplay between a website chief and a household acquiring meals led the neighborhood to assist pay the six-month rental payments.
“(Blue Cross and Blue Defend) is making a major funding in our program and the well being of our neighborhood,” Dake stated. “At a time like this after we are in a pandemic, investing within the well being of our residents is of the utmost significance.”