The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation awarded $500,000 to the Minnesota Community Action Association Resource Fund in St. Paul to provide for basic needs of low-income Minnesotans through eight community action agencies across the state. The funds will provide food, shelter, clothing, safety and other locally defined needs, as determined by the local agencies over the next few weeks.
In addition to serving the state’s 10 counties with the highest poverty rates, including Beltrami, Blue Earth, Cass, Clearwater, Mahnomen, Ramsey, St. Louis, Todd, Wadena and Winona, these community action agencies also reach residents of an additional 29 Minnesota counties. The number of Minnesotans living in poverty increased 77 percent in the last decade to nearly 600,000 people. Eight of these 10 counties have a child poverty rate above 20 percent, according to data from the 2010 U.S. Census and Minnesota Compass.
“The Blue Cross Foundation has a history of responding to community needs, and we’re pleased to be able to work with community action agencies to get significant support where it’s most needed,” said Ken Burdick, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and chair of the Foundation’s board.
“This grant will make an enormous difference in the lives of people across Minnesota who are still being left behind by the great recession,” said Neal Steffl, board chair of Minnesota Community Action. “It will help us to fulfill our promise to communities of changing people’s lives, embodying the spirit of hope, improving communities and making this a better place to live.”
For more information on Blue Cross’s grantmaking programs, visit bcbsmnfoundation.org or call (651) 662-3950 or toll free at 1-866-812-1593.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation exclusively dedicates its assets to improving health in Minnesota, awarding more than $30 million since it was established in 1986. The Foundation’s purpose is to make a healthy difference in people’s lives by improving the community conditions that have an impact on the health of children and families.