GENYOUth Announces Donation of $500,000 from Blue Shield of California for Delivery and Distribution of School Meals to Food-Insecure Students and Support of Taste of the NFL Event

Blue Shield of California Will Provide Funding to 70 High-Needs Schools in 13 Counties Timed with March’s National Nutrition Month

NEW YORK (March 8, 2022) – GENYOUth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating healthier school communities, announced today the donation of $500,000 from Blue Shield of California to help GENYOUth’s End Student Hunger Fund and support the delivery and distribution of nutritious school meals to many high-need California schools and their students during  National Nutrition Month in March.

The funding is part of Blue Shield of California’s commitment to exploring and investing in innovative approaches to health equity that are reflective and responsive to the needs of the community.  Working in collaboration with GENYOUth, Blue Shield is providing the grants to address a critical need as 1 in 6 U.S. children live in food-insecure households and 30 million children rely on school meals for their daily nourishment, according to the USDA. The grants will help students access school meals to get the nutrition they need. In addition, research has shown that students who eat breakfast have improved attendance and academic performance.

As part of the contribution, Blue Shield of California will support schools in underserved and under-resourced zip codes across California with grants to 70 schools across 13 counties throughout the state to help approximately 65,000 students have greater access to nutritious meals to help them thrive throughout the year.

“At Blue Shield of California we are committed to addressing health inequities and disparities by helping to overcome cultural, linguistic, and physical barriers through a wide range of services that provide support for under resourced populations,” said Kristen Cerf, president and CEO, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. “We appreciate the opportunity to support GENYOUth’s End Student Hunger Fund, which raises awareness and support to help solve food insecurity for children – a key determinant of health.”

“Among the California schools receiving grants, 73 percent of students participate in the school meal program and rely on these meals as a significant portion of their daily nourishment, and for many children, 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 Blue Shield of California, who know that the basis of good health – mental and physical – begins in childhood; for their commitment to make the eradication of food insecurity a priority, and for ensuring more students will have access to nourishing meals with essential nutrients to fuel their minds and bodies throughout their academic day.”

Blue Shield of California’s and GENYOUth’s donation is part of a larger legacy of investing in and building upon efforts to support California school communities. At last month’s Taste of the NFL, the pre-eminent purpose-driven event during Super Bowl weekend, the support of sponsors like  Blue Shield of California was critical as all event proceeds will benefit GENYOUth’s End Student Hunger Fund.  In addition to Blue Shield of California’s funding of 70 school grants in their home state, additional school grants will be funded to schools throughout the nation. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, GENYOUth’s End Student Hunger Fund through the support of partners like Blue Shield of California has raised over $13 million in cash and in-kind resources which has supported over 10,000 schools.

About GENYOUth

GENYOUth is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that creates healthier school communities. We convene a network of private and public partners, including Fortune 100 companies and foundations, to raise funds for youth wellness initiatives that give youth the inspiration, motivation, and programs to be healthy high-achieving students. GENYOUth’s flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60, enrolls over 73,000 U.S. schools, reaching over 38 million students. Our school nutrition grants increase access to healthy school meals among food insecure students. NFL FLAG-In-School is GENYOUth’s fastest growing program with over 25,000 school communities reaching over 15 million students. AdVenture Capital brings out the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of students with the support of corporate mentors to solve real world problems. And starting in 2021, GENYOUth is the official charitable partner of Taste of the NFL, a purpose-driven Super Bowl culinary experience which raises awareness and generates funds to fight hunger and food insecurity.  For more information on GENYOUth, visit

About Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable.  Blue Shield of California is a tax paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with over 4.5 million members, over 7,500 employees and more than $21 billion in annual revenue.  Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare healthcare service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $150 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in the last four years to have an impact on California communities.

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Eric Slutsky, GENYOUth,, 917-391-6709

Erika Conner, Blue Shield of California,, 925-315-0928