ANDOVER, MASS. — The UniCare Foundation is helping to provide healthy meals and supporting fitness and nutrition programming to help local kids develop lifelong healthy habits through $30,000 in grants to three Boys & Girls Clubs. Boston, Lowell, and Springfield Clubs will benefit from the grants provided by the Foundation, the philanthropic arm of UniCare.
"We believe it's important to equip kids with the skills needed to overcome barriers and grow into productive, caring adults who make healthy decisions. Ensuring kids have access to nutritious food is critical to achieving better health and is at the heart of that commitment," said David Morales, general manager of UniCare. "This is what it's all about for us at UniCare: making a difference in the lives of the people in the communities we serve. We're proud to support the incredible work that the Boston, Lowell, and Springfield Boys & Girls Clubs are doing in their communities every day to help kids develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime."
At an event in Springfield on Wednesday, UniCare general manager David Morales presented a $10,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Springfield to support its Triple Play program, which promotes fitness and healthy habits for kids ages 6-12. The Club will use the grant funding to engage approximately 50 kids ages 6-12 in sports activities that promote fitness, sportsmanship, and healthy habits. On hand to get an update on the Club's efforts to support Springfield kids during the pandemic were Mayor Domenic Sarno, state Sen. Adam Gomez, state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, and City Councilor Gumersindo Gomez.
"We are excited to partner with the UniCare Foundation to offer youth innovative ways to health and nutrition awareness," said Vincent Borello, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Springfield. "The Triple Play Program is a fun way for youth to stay healthy through exercise and healthy eating habits. Together, the SBGC and UniCare Foundation will give any child a path to heathy life skills."
In Lowell, Morales presented a $10,000 grant to Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell to support its Healthy Meals Program, which provides nutritious meals for youth members at the Club and, since the COVID-19 pandemic, "Grab & Go" packaged meals and weekend Family Food Care Packages on Fridays. The Foundation grant will help provide additional fresh foods each weekend throughout 2021 for 50 families. Lowell Mayor John Leahy joined Morales at the Club on Thursday to show his support and thanks for the Club's efforts to address food insecurity.
"We have consistently heard from parents how important the Healthy Meals Program is during the pandemic. Many lost jobs or income and, with schools operating remotely, many lost the daily breakfast and lunch their children had access to through the school lunch program," said Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell executive director Joe Hungler. "Hunger is a scary thing – watching your kids go hungry is even worse. We are grateful for support from the UniCare Foundation that ensures that our youth can focus on school rather than wondering if they will have enough food each day."
The Foundation's $10,000 grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston will support healthy development programs, which focus on physical health, nutrition, and overall social and emotional well-being. These programs will impact more than 1,700 members with the goal of helping youth make and model healthy physical, social, and emotional choices. Club members learn nutrition principles through participating in healthy meals served at the Clubs as well as ongoing nutrition education. Youth also learn healthy habits, stress management, teamwork, and social skills through fitness and sports activities.
"At Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, thoughtful partnerships are a vital component to our healthy development programs," said Grace Lichaa, Senior Director of Healthy Lifestyles at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. "We are grateful for the UniCare Foundation's support of such an important part of our mission to instill healthy habits and teach essential skills that promote lifelong well-being for the members and families we serve."
About the UniCare Foundation
The UniCare Foundation is the philanthropic arm of UniCare Life & Health Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. Together with local, regional and national organizations, the UniCare Foundation works to improve 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 UniCare Life & Health Insurance Company and its affiliated health plans serves. UniCare Foundation funding is focused on critical initiatives working to address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative with five areas of focus: Healthy Heart, Cancer Prevention, Healthy Maternal Practices, Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, and Healthy Active Lifestyle. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. 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. To learn more about the UniCare Foundation, please visit www.anthemcorporateresponsibility.com.