Photo submitted – Excellus BCBS Utica Regional President Eve Van de Wal, Little Falls Youth, and Family Center Executive Director Anthony DeLuca, and Excellus BCBS Community Investments and Partnerships Manager Shayna Keller, gather for a presentation of the Excellus BCBS Community Health Award.

UTICA, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded Little Falls Youth and Family Center (formerly YMCA) a Community Health Award of $2,500 to support their Holiday and Summer Feeding Program. This program helps feed 120 local families on the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, as well as 100 families on Easter. Additionally, the summer program provides 1,750 lunches for local children during the Little Falls Summer Recreation program that runs from July through August.

“The center’s cause-driven programs create meaningful change for local families every day by bridging the gaps in community needs,” explains Little Falls Youth and Family Center Executive Director Anthony DeLuca. “This program helps fulfill a vital need for local families facing food insecurity.”

Little Falls Youth and Family Center promotes youth and family development, healthy lifestyles, and social responsibility built on the belief that everyone has value and deserves the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. All programs, services, and opportunities are offered to all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.

“The Center’s community-focused programs connect people of all ages and backgrounds to bridge the gaps in state and national programs with a micro-local perspective,” states DeLuca. “The result is a lasting and meaningful change for our neighbors and our community.”

Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards provide funding to launch, expand, and sustain programs and services that promote health. These investments advance health equity by extending the reach of preventive health services or health-promoting programs to vulnerable populations.

The health plan’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals, policies, or products.

“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” states Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Utica regional president. “We recognize that addressing social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, is vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities and we are pleased to support Little Falls Youth and Family Center’s Holiday and Summer feeding program with this essential community health funding.”

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Utica region encompasses Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and St. Lawrence counties.