Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded Cooperstown Food Pantry a Community Health Award of $2,000 to support their farmers market voucher program.
This program, which began in 2009, provides farmers market vouchers to families who participate in the Cooperstown Food Pantry to purchase fresh produce at the Cooperstown Farmers Market.
Families may pick up vouchers at their monthly visit to the food pantry from May through October. Students participating in the pantry’s backpack program will also receive vouchers.
“The farmers market voucher program is one of the key ways that we provide equitable and inclusive service to our clients,” said Will Kleffner, director of the Cooperstown Food Pantry. “By providing the funds needed to purchase fresh, local fruits and vegetables, we help remove one of the barriers to community health. We believe that everyone should have access to fresh, healthy food options!”
The mission of the Cooperstown Food Pantry is to address issues of food insecurity and poverty in northern Otsego County. Currently in its 45th year, the Cooperstown Food Pantry provides an important safety net for area families facing food insecurity.
“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Eve Van de Wal, Utica regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “We recognize that addressing social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, is vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities and we are pleased to support the Cooperstown Food Pantry with this essential community health funding.”