MEDIA ADVISORY – SAVE THE DATE
EVENT: The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation will announce a $125,000 grant to promote lasting hunger relief for community college students in rural Virginia. The grant will be used at 14 community colleges to boost student awareness of Single Stop, an online tool that helps students access a wide range of local, state and federal social services, including food, housing, transportation, childcare, etc.
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 19, 12:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Hotel Roanoke, Ballrooms C-H, 110 Shenandoah Ave. NE, Roanoke, VA 24016
PARTICIPANTS: The announcement will be made during the Virginia Community College Student Leadership Conference. Participants will include representatives from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE), and Anthem HealthKeepers Plus.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jim Babb, Interim Asst. Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications, Virginia Community College System
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
The Anthem Foundation grant is part of a nationwide $30 million, three-year initiative in which the foundation is supporting programs that help individuals reach optimal health through good nutrition.
Single Stop is an online screener tool on campus that quickly connects students with federal, state and local assistance programs.
So far this year, Single Stop has been used by more than 9,700 Virginia community college students statewide, connecting them with more than $21 million in benefits they were entitled to receive.
Surveys of community college students nationwide continue to reveal widespread food and housing insecurity. The latest report, the Community College Survey of Student Engagement published in Mid-October by the University of Texas at Austin, found that a fifth of community college students cut back or skipped meals in the previous month due to costs, and almost a third of students ran out of food during the month. The same survey reported 27 percent of students were unable to pay their rent or mortgage in full, and 28 percent were unable to fully pay their utility bills.
Virginia’s Rural Horseshoe:
Stretching from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, westward across Southside to Southwest Virginia and then up the Shenandoah Valley, the arc of rural Virginia represents three quarters of Virginia’s geography, where income and education levels lag the rest of the commonwealth.
Fourteen Virginia Community Colleges that serve the region will receive the Anthem grants to promote Single Stop among their students.