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NORTH TEXAS FOOD BANK RECEIVES GRANT FROM BCBSTX TO HELP IMPROVE KIDS' HEALTH BY RELIEVING HUNGER

DALLAS, TEXAS, Oct. 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) announced today that it received a grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) through its "Healthy Kids, Healthy Families" initiative. The $22,000 grant will allow NTFB to provide access to approximately 66,000 meals for hungry children and families in North Texas.



"We're proud to give our support to the North Texas Food Bank as a Healthy Kids, Healthy Families partner," said Catherine Oliveros, Director, Community Affairs, BCBSTX. "Through its work, we expect to see measurable improvements in children's health by relieving hunger."

Healthy Kids, Healthy Families began as a three-year initiative that aimed to pull together local, state and national resources in an effort to make a significant impact on childhood health and wellness. Now Healthy Kids, Healthy Families is a signature initiative of BCBSTX and part of its ongoing commitment to invest in Texas communities. Likewise, NTFB dedicates time and resources to improving health and wellness by fighting food insecurity in North Texas, especially among children.

In North Texas, 1 in 4 children are considered food insecure making child hunger a critical issue. NTFB provides relief through programs like Food 4 Kids, which puts nutritious food directly into the hands of chronically hungry children. Each weekend during the school year, more than 11,000 children enrolled in the program receive kid-friendly, shelf-stable foods that meet more than 60% of their nutritional needs.

"Ensuring our children are perfectly healthy starts with ensuring each child receives basic living needs," says NTFB President and CEO, Jan Pruitt. "Our partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas will ultimately help us realize a shared vision of seeing all children develop and live healthy lives."

About Healthy Kids, Healthy Families:

Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HKHF) began as a three-year initiative designed to improve the health and wellness of at least one million children through community investments by Health Care Service Corporation and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Reaching nearly three million children within the first two years, HKHF is now a signature program of the organization and part of an ongoing commitment to invest in and partner with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families in areas of nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management, and supporting safe environments. To learn more about Health Kids, Healthy Families, please visit www.healthykidshealthyfamilies.org.

About The North Texas Food Bank

The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a top-ranked nonprofit relief organization, and the largest North Texas charity. Each day, the North Texas Food Bank provides access to 170,000 meals for hungry children, seniors and families through a network of more than 1,000 feeding programs and 262 Partner Agencies. In fiscal year 2014, NTFB provided access to some 62 million meals. NTFB has recently announced a 10-year vision to eliminate the hunger gap in its 13-county service area. NTFB is a member of Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization. For additional information about NTFB, please visit www.ntfb.org

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) – the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas – is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and 500 hospitals to serve 5 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country's largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28619

CONTACT: BCBSTX Media Contact: Margaret Jarvis 972-766-7165 Margaret_Jarvis@bcbstx.com NTFB Media Contact: Anna Kurian 214-270-2059 Annak@ntfb.org

Source:North Texas Food Bank