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Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, Anthem Foundation Partner To Serve Kids In New Ways During COVID-19 Crisis

$110,000 Grant Helps Boys & Girls Clubs Go Virtual, Provide Supplemental Meals and Staff New Projects

Kenosha, WI – May 20, 2020 – The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation announced today that it is directing $110,000 to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Kenosha and other Boys & Girls Clubs in Milwaukee, Fox Valley, Green Bay and Oshkosh in their efforts to offer youth safe, virtual programming and supplementary meals during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Boys & Girls Clubs across the state have been forced to quickly transition their vital services to Wisconsin’s youth, but their goal remains the same: providing youth with a safe haven in which their minds and bodies can flourish.

Even though the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha has had to close their doors to after school programs, the Club has responded and adapted to continue to provide services to members and their families. The BGCK, along with several other community agencies, is operating a meal distribution site at both the Club and the Oribiletti Center in Lincoln Park. Kenosha Unified School District has been a lead partner of the food program, providing grab and go lunches and a breakfast for the following morning. Nearly 2,500 meals are distributed weekly at the Club’s sites. On Friday nights, school counselors pick up and deliver hot dinners from local restaurants to 15+ homes each week. Additionally, over 4,000 grab-and-go dinners have been available thanks to several generous donors and a community eager to help.

”We’re grateful to have support from generous partners like Anthem, and we need the help now more than ever before,” said Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha CEO, Jake McGhee. “There are many people who are hurting right now, and this financial support allows us to do our part in providing essential services to families in the community.”

In addition to providing services to help with food security, the BGCK has continued to connect with members through phone calls, creating arts and crafts kits, making home visits, and checking in with students in the Be Great Graduate program. The Club continues to actively engage in essential services like gang prevention, case management and community service.

“COVID-19 has affected me in many different ways. I had to cancel my Quinceañera, I cannot get help I need from teachers like I would in person, and I can’t visit my grandparents in Mexico or spend time with friends,” says Citlalli, a teen member of the BGCK. “The Be Great Graduate Program and Ms. Wendy have helped me keep track of missing assignments and keep me informed about what is going on in school. The program also told us about the lunches and dinners at the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha so we do not have to go out sometimes and worry about food.”

The grants are part of a $900,000 ongoing commitment that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin and its Foundation have made to support Wisconsin nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the pandemic. The Foundation has been working with partner nonprofit organizations to support emergency response, food access, personal protective equipment supplies, education, cancer support, and virtual youth programming. Approximately $680,000 has already been committed to organizations across the state, with another $210,000 slated for emerging needs in the coming weeks and months.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha’s quick and effective transition of services to continue its mission in the face of a global pandemic is a great example of Wisconsin’s creativity and sprit of service,” said Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin President Paul Nobile. “We’re proud to continue supporting Wisconsin Boys & Girls Clubs, and our communities, our members and our businesses can count on us through this crisis and beyond.”

About Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha

The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is a youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting health, social, educational, vocational, cultural, character and leadership development. The Club helps youth improve their lives by building skills, values and self-esteem. When you support the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, you support the kids who need us the most and their great futures ahead. Visit www.BGCKenosha.org/donate to donate today.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem’s inherent commitment to improving lives and communities. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs.  ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more about the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at https://medium.com/anthemfoundation