When the COVID-19 pandemic started, do you keep in mind how onerous it was to search out all of the objects in your grocery checklist — like pasta and bathroom paper? Perhaps you needed to stand in line to enter your native grocery store. Otherwise you had been setting 3 a.m. alarms to order groceries on-line.
All of us skilled the stress of navigating a worldwide well being emergency and provide chain disruptions, however a few of us had a tougher time than others accessing fundamental items.
This can be a story of neighbors serving to neighbors, and of well being fairness in motion.
Responding to a Clear Want
In spring 2020, the decision heart at Independence Blue Cross (Independence) began receiving loads of uncommon requests from our Medicare Benefit members. They weren’t asking how you can pay a invoice on-line, or if a health care provider was in our community; they had been asking how they might entry meals.
They informed us that the bodily calls for of grocery procuring — standing in line to enter a retailer, combating with different clients during the last pack of bathroom paper — had been difficult for them, particularly these with continual diseases. Even navigating on-line supply providers was usually a wrestle for some members.
We realized we needed to do one thing to reply to their wants, and do it rapidly. So we determined to launch a grocery supply program.
Partly, the objective was for our members who had been most weak to extreme COVID-19 illness to go to the grocery retailer much less incessantly and thus scale back their publicity danger. Given the social isolation that many confronted, we additionally needed these members to really feel cared for — virtually as if somebody from Independence was giving them a heat hug.
How Our Collaboration With United By Blue Started
Trying to find a corporation to launch this grocery supply program with Independence, we initially contacted numerous nationwide big-box shops, in addition to native nonprofits. However none of them may assist as a result of their providers had been already in such unbelievable demand.
Then we seen that United By Blue, a small enterprise in Previous Metropolis Philadelphia, had turned its storefront right into a grocery retailer. Initially stuffed with sustainable-lifestyle gear and merchandise, its cabinets now held issues like pasta, eggs, meat, contemporary vegatables and fruits, and even rest room paper!
An insurer-lifestyle gear collaboration could seem uncommon, however there was one thing about United by Blue’s distinctive response to the pandemic that made us wish to discover the chance. Fortunately, they felt equally, and a brand new program was launched!
How It Labored
In two years of working with United By Blue, we now have delivered greater than 50,000 luggage of groceries to Medicare Benefit members in our service space who met sure illness state standards.
Every bag contained quite a lot of contemporary fruits, greens, breads, pastries, butter, peanut butter, hummus, cookies, a face masks, rest room paper, paper towels, beans, eggs, milk, bacon, and (my private favourite) quarts of home made soup.