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N.Y. - March 1, 2022

GENYOUth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating healthier school communities, announced today the donation of $285,000 from Florida Blue Foundation to GENYOUth’s End Student Hunger Fund to support the delivery and distribution of nutritious school meals to thousands of students living in high-need communities. 

The donation, which is part of Florida Blue Foundation’s focus on addressing food security in the state, will provide grants to a total 82 schools to ensure over 83,000 students continue to receive nutritious meals to help them thrive throughout the year. The program targets schools in four counties across the state in alignment with the Foundation’s Growing Resilient Communities initiative to address generational poverty in select underserved and under-resourced communities in Florida.

“Access to nutritious food is essential for good health, development and overall well-being. The Florida Blue Foundation is focused on supporting organizations like GENYOUth that are providing community-based solutions to improve food security across our state,” said Susan Towler, Florida Blue Foundation executive director. “Supporting students so they can focus on their education, instead of where their next meal may come from, is critical to their development and success.” 

“In the schools that are receiving grants, 75 percent of students rely on school meals for a significant portion of their daily nutrition, and for many kids school meals are their only source of daily nutrition,” said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth. “All students deserve to have access to the nutrition and meals needed to start their day. We are grateful to our partners at Florida Blue Foundation and the Florida Dairy Council for continuing to tackle youth hunger and food security, and for ensuring more students will have access to nourishing meals that include milk as part of healthy school meals.”

"Every day, school meals provide students with the essential nutrients to fuel their minds and bodies throughout their academic day. Florida's dairy farmers are proud to provide milk, dairy products, and other in-kind support for school meals and are grateful to partner with GENYOUth and Florida Blue Foundation to help end student hunger," said Teresa Moran-Wiebe, Dairy Council of Florida.

Florida Blue Foundation’s and GENYOUth’s donation is part of a larger legacy of investing in and building upon efforts to support Florida school communities and nutrition staff. Since the start of the Covid pandemic, GENYOUth’s End Student Hunger Fund has helped school nutrition teams close the gap in funding, ensuring continuity of school meals across the state and enabling the delivery of over 56,000 meals per day, and 10 million meals per year, to Florida students in need. As part of Super Bowl LV’s Forever 55 Super School Breakfast Initiative in 2020 and 2021, Florida Blue donated over 55 Grab and Go breakfast carts in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties to increase access to over 5 million school meals for their students.