Field and Fork Network, Inc. Receives Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Community Health Award
August 24, 2022
UTICA, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded Field and Fork Network, Inc. a Community Health Award of $2,000 to support their Double Up Food Bucks program serving Essex County. This program is Field and Fork Network’s signature food access program. It is a nutrition incentive program that matches SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program) benefits dollar for dollar, up to twenty dollars per day. The Double Up incentive can only be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Double Up is a win-win-win, low-income families bring home more healthy food, local farmers sell more produce, and more food dollars stay in the local economy. Each has a positive ripple effect of benefits,” said Lisa French, co-founder and Executive Director of Field & Fork Network, which administers the Double Up program in New York State. “By incentivizing the purchasing and consuming of healthier foods, we aim to improve the overall health and well-being of those we serve.”
Field & Fork Network is a non-profit organization that connects communities across New York State to innovative solutions that foster a sustainable food system. Key focus areas are agriculture, economic development, youth & community development, healthy neighborhoods and food access. Double Up Food Bucks allows families to stretch their dollar further while improving their overall health. The program’s innovative model allows it to operate in a variety of locations including corner stores, bodegas, ethnic food markets, mobile markets, farm stands and more.
Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards provide funding to launch, expand, and sustain programs and services that promote health. These investments advance health equity by extending the reach of preventive health services or health-promoting programs to vulnerable populations.
The health plan’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals, policies, or products.
“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” states Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Utica regional president. “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 Field and Fork Network with this essential community health funding.”
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Utica region encompasses Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and St. Lawrence counties.
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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company’s mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit ExcellusBCBS.com.