How Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is helping Birmingham nonprofits shield residents from loss

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Birmingham nonprofits
The Alabama Food Bank Association adapted during the pandemic so they could continue fighting food insecurity. Photo via Alabama Food Bank Association’s Facebook.

Birmingham is a powerful city in more ways than one. Our local nonprofits, along with the support of companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, are a big part of what makes us so sturdy. Take a look at just a couple, out of the hundreds in the Magic City, who are fearsome in the face of COVID-19.

The nonprofits serving our state

The Alabama Food Bank Association fights food insecurity in our state. Photo via Alabama Food Bank Association’s Facebook.

We can’t thank Alabama’s nonprofits enough for how they elevate our state, especially when everything is intensely unpredictable. The Alabama Food Bank, Association, for one, is vital in fighting hunger among individuals and families.

Despite losing resources such as volunteers, food banks across Alabama still provide for vulnerable residents.

“The need of our community has grown exponentially. The food bank is operating with fewer people, because of the inability to engage volunteers as they normally would due to COVID-19.

The Community Food Bank of Central Alabama is utilizing mobile pantries in which community members in need can drive up, stay in their vehicle, and food is placed directly in their car for them, providing a no-contact food drop.”

Jessica Callahan, Alabama Food Bank Association 

Working as a team

Another strong leader in Birmingham is the United Way of Central Alabama. Like the Alabama Food Bank, COVID-19 forced them to pivot. It started with establishing a relief fund for those affected by the virus.

“In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, United Way President and CEO, Drew Langloh, introduced the establishment of a statewide United Way Community Crisis Fund. 

Langloh stated that the fund will help feed people, provide emergency assistance for people who need help paying bills, and support distressed nonprofit agencies serving people negatively impacted by COVID-19.”

Elizabeth Fagan, Director of Annual Campaign for United Way of Central Alabama

United Way also encouraged Central Alabama to use their 2-1-1 Information and Referral System. The service is invaluable in assisting people’s needs.

However, another issue that arose was getting meals to homebound seniors through United Way’s Meals on Wheels Program. Partners like The Caring Foundation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama stepped in to help.

Thanks to community partners like Blue Cross and Nourish Foods, United Way Meals on Wheels program was able to serve food across Birmingham. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama committed funds to United Way’s Meals on Wheels program to feed seniors and the disabled during the pandemic. That money also helped seniors not enrolled in the program, and on a waiting list, to receive meals during this crisis.

Birmingham nonprofits hustle every day

We’ve all seen it ourselves how these mighty nonprofits change lives. Perhaps you volunteered with one or received help from their team—either way, it’s these organizations that keep Birmingham’s engine running. Tim King, who heads up Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama’s Caring Foundation, knows the importance of their efforts.

“One of Birmingham’s greatest strengths is its people and their willingness to help their neighbors during a crisis. I see firsthand how Birmingham nonprofits care about our city and do what is necessary to give a hand up.

We are proud to serve this community and provide the leadership and teamwork needed to make a positive impact on Birmingham now and for future generations.”

Tim King, Manager of The Caring Foundation and Corporate Giving at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

A little background on the Caring Foundation

As you’ve seen, nonprofits like the Alabama Food Bank Association do SO much necessary work for our city, which is why any help is always greatly welcomed. The Caring Foundation is part of that help to the Alabama Food Bank Association, United Way and other similar nonprofits.

“Because of the generous support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama’s Caring Foundation, our food banks are able to serve families in economic crisis during this pandemic

Our networks’ hunger-relief programs help deliver millions of pounds of nutritious food to the communities we serve across Alabama.”

Laura Lester, executive director of the Alabama Food Bank Association

Birmingham nonprofits are #StrongerTogether

No one person, organization or team can do it all on their own. It takes a village—literally. Someone may donate to a nonprofit, another may volunteer. But, no matter how you contribute it only works if we all do it together. 

“Because of our long-time commitment to improve the health, wellness and education of Alabamians, it’s vital we have a strong relationship with the many nonprofit organizations that serve the State of Alabama.

We are stronger when we work together to solve many of the serious issues that confront us as a community. To best meet those needs, collaborating with other companies, community groups, and local governments is essential.”

Tim King

Support from every angle 

In addition to the nonprofits previously mentioned, The Caring Foundation contributed help to organizations such as Birmingham Strong, American Red Cross, Alabama Department of Public Health, Jefferson Country Department of Health and more. 

What does “contributed help” actually mean? Translated into a real-world situation, it looks like:

  • Fighting food scarcity
  • Supporting small business loans
  • Providing personal protective equipment to healthcare workers 
  • Donating meals for healthcare workers

Nonprofits and organizations are continuing to adapt

Nonprofits are adapting to the COVID-19 situation when they are down volunteers and resources. As they continue to support our city and state despite the circumstances, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is beside them with a helping hand. 

You may have seen also how Blue Cross expanded coverage for telehealth with no out-of-pocket costs for their policyholders. Covered telehealth services now include visits with physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners; physical, speech and occupational therapists; and behavioral health practitioners. Did you know the team is also assisting with a variety of other issues related to COVID-19?

In case you missed it, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is:

  • Waiving policyholders’ cost-sharing for diagnostic testing and treatments for COVID-19, as well as inpatient deductibles, copays and coinsurance for policyholders with coverage through their employer who is fully insured with Blue Cross.
  • Increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on prescription medications and encouraging members to use their 90-day retail or mail-order benefit

For more information about how Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is lending aid during COVID-19, visit AlabamaBlue.com/Coronavirus. Or, find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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