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The mobile food pantry at Grant Middle School in Albuquerque prepares to distribute food to families. Reusable bags donated by BCBSNM helped the food pantry provide curbside pickup.

BCBSNM Supports Community Members in Need Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) is dedicated to helping its fellow New Mexicans. This dedication guides the work BCBSNM employees do every day on behalf of members and communities, especially now when people are facing increased hardships due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico has proven to be one of the most incredibly responsive community partners we have — every time we ask BCBSNM delivers,” said ABC Community School Partnership Executive Director Danette Townsend.

BCBSNM recently donated reusable bags to Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) for food distribution to needed locations throughout Bernalillo County.

“This time, 1,000 bags allowed our community schools to safely distribute pre-packed food bags for families in need,” Townsend said. “Bags may not seem like a big deal, but when you are trying to ensure that families get what they need while keeping your volunteers safe and respecting public health mandates, these bags and BCBSNM allowed our schools to make it happen.”

BCBSNM is giving a total of 2,000 bags that will help APS distribute food to families.

“In these uncertain times, it is crucial to help support our community,” said Grant Community School Coordinator Monique Mills. “We were able to fill bags from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico with food from Roadrunner Food Bank, and we able to safely help over 70 families, nearly 200 people, fight food insecurity in an insecure time.”

Some other ways BCBSNM is giving back to communities amid COVID-19 include:

  • Providing 50 comfort kits to APS for families in need. The kits included essential hygiene products — such as wash cloths, soap, shampoo, conditioner, combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste — in addition to coloring books, crayons, games, Blue BearSM stuffed animals and other items.
  • Giving 2,500 reusable bags to APS for student activity packs. This included 1,000 Blue Bear activity and coloring books.
  • Donating 100 hygiene kits through the City of Albuquerque for vulnerable seniors. The kits included wash cloths, soap, shampoo, conditioner, combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
  • Providing food through Roadrunner Food Bank’s mobile food pantries at nine APS schools and two senior centers. Roadrunner is distributing boxes of food through APS instead of having families pick up the food as they normally would. BCBSNM has supported Roadrunner’s mobile food pantries since 2015.
  • Providing BCBSNM’s Care Van® to CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe to help staff prepare and store supplies as they conduct drive-through testing for COVID-19.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico’s Care Van will help CHRISTUS St. Vincent with its COVID-19 response,” said CHRISTUS St. Vincent spokesperson Arturo Delgado. “We are grateful for the many ways that the community has leaned in to assist our care givers.”

In addition, BCBSNM employees continue to volunteer for the nonprofit Hellfighters Soul Snatchers Unit to provide food, hygiene supplies, clothes, blankets, socks and shoes for people experiencing homelessness in Albuquerque.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico has been here for 80 years, and we are committed now more than ever to advocating for our members and the communities we serve,” said Kurt Shipley, BCBSNM president. “Being there to provide support is a key part of who we are. As the situation with COVID-19 evolves, we will continue to find ways to help New Mexicans when and where they need it most.”    

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association