BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee employees recently donated 10,472 meals to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

Employees wanted to help combat critical food shortages the organization faces during the summer.

“Most families welcome the relaxing summer months but hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation,” President and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank Gina Crumbliss said in a prepared statement. “Long summer days can easily turn into long hungry nights for children who rely on free and reduced-priced meals during the school year.”

Summer donations are critical in allowing the food bank to serve residents throughout the year and to help combat debilitating food shortages.

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“When we heard about the food bank’s need, we knew our employees would want to help,” BCBST Director of Community Relations and Health Foundation Scott Wilson said.

The food drive, organized by the company’s Team Blue volunteer program, ran from June 7 through June 21.

At the Cameron Hill office in Chattanooga, employees donated 6,926 pounds of food, the equivalent of 5,772 meals.

Employees also raised $1,175 in cash donations to support the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. These funds will be used to purchase an additional 4,700 meals, bringing the drive’s overall total to 12,566 pounds, or 10,472 meals.

“I am overwhelmed by the amazing response and tremendous generosity of our Team Blue volunteers and BlueCross employees,” Wilson said. “They have helped stock food bank shelves, and many of our neighbors will have meals this summer thanks to their efforts.”

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