UWNEMN receives help to fight childhood hunger

The United Way of Northeastern Minnesota (UWNEMN) has received supplemental food to distribute to local children this summer from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross).


More than 1,000 snack packs were packed in minutes by attendees of the company’s recent “Blue” event, an annual client business meeting for employers that utilize Blue Cross health plans. The packs, filled with oatmeal, granola bars, crackers, juice, apple sauce, and macaroni and cheese, were donated to the UWNEMN for the organization to distribute at this summer’s Meet Up and Chow Down free summer lunch program locations.


Blue Cross and  Blue Shield of Minnesota Vice President of Communications and Social Impact Kirstie Foster said the company was excited to feature UWNEMN’s Meet Up and Chow Down program at one of its largest events of the year.


“In a matter of minutes, we created more than 1,000 snack packs for Iron Range kids this summer, helping fill the meal gap that happens while school is not is session,” Foster said. “Fun charitable activities like this are among the many ways we live our commitment to supporting the health of all Minnesota communities.”


The Meet Up and Chow Down program is operating in nine sites this summer across the Iron Range: Chisholm, Ely, Hibbing, Mountain Iron, Nashwauk, and Virginia.  Free lunch is available to all children ages one to 18 regardless of income.


“We are so grateful for the support of companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota in our fight against childhood hunger,” said UWNEMN Resource Development & Events Director Elizabeth Kelly. “Whether it’s packing Buddy Backpacks, handing out Meet Up and Chow Down lunches, or providing snack pack like these – every little bit helps to ensure our local children have access to regular meals.”