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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Anthem, Inc. Launches Four-City Initiative with Heart of America and iHeartMedia to Combat Food Insecurity

September 2, 2021 GMT
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INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Inc. is teaming up with iHeartMedia, the number one audio company in the United States, and Heart of America, a national nonprofit committed to educational equity, to help schools in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Indianapolis combat food insecurity.

The four-city initiative is focused on creating customized solutions to address hunger and lack of access to healthy food by building and transforming learning gardens and food pantries in high-need schools. With a goal to support communities where millions of children and families struggle with hunger daily, the Anthem-funded collaboration aims to provide practical, sustainable resources that will help schools in their nutrition efforts.

“Having access to nutritious balanced meals is crucial for good overall health and is essential for children to learn and grow,” said Shantanu Agrawal, MD, chief health officer at Anthem, Inc. “That’s why Anthem is supporting Heart of America and helping transform school spaces into places where students can access nutritious meals, foster a deeper connection about the benefits of healthy eating and learn skills to help them lead healthy lives.”

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iHeartMedia and its network of local and national on-air personalities are joining the effort by raising awareness in each participating city to help listeners learn and understand that anywhere from 1-in-4 to 1-in-7 children are experiencing hunger in their communities on any given day.

“Being a companion to our communities is central to iHeart’s mission, and we’re proud to stand with Anthem and Heart of America to transform learning environments and increase access to healthy food across the country,” said Hartley Adkins, President for iHeartMedia Markets Group. “Unfortunately, food insecurity is a challenge that millions of our listeners face, and iHeart is committed to using our platforms to make a difference in this space.”

Specifically, the Heart of America partnership will address food insecurity in the four participating cities by supporting high-need schools in their goals to provide healthy meals to students, transforming physical spaces to improve access to food and capacity to distribute healthy meals, and raising awareness around the prevalence of food insecurity in our communities.

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“For many families in poverty across the country, their children’s most reliable sources of healthy food are the meals they receive from school. However, when schools closed during the pandemic, another pandemic of access to healthy foods was exposed,” said Jill Hardy Heath, President & CEO of Heart of America. “At Heart of America, we know that resources matter, and I cannot think of a more important resource than the healthy food children need to live, learn and thrive. By helping schools transform a space addressing food insecurity and giving students and their families regular access to healthy food they can use to sustain themselves at home, iHeartMedia and Anthem are creating a sustainable solution for nearly 1,000 families across the country. We are incredibly grateful for this partnership.”

Heart of America has led in addressing education inequity across the United States for nearly 25 years by delivering high-quality resources and engaging spaces to underserved students and campuses. Since its inception, Heart of America has rebuilt and revitalized nearly 800 spaces including school libraries, cafeterias, gymnasiums, college and career centers, tech labs and many more education spaces across North America.

About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem is a leading health benefits company dedicated to improving lives and communities, and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves more than 117 million people, including more than 44 million within its family of health plans. We aim to be the most innovative, valuable and inclusive partner. For more information, please visit www.antheminc.com or follow @AnthemInc on Twitter.

About the Heart of America Foundation
Heart of America provides high-quality resources and transforms spaces in under-resourced schools, helping to close the gap in education spending by creating modern learning environments that are essential for children to reach their potential in a rapidly changing world. Through a six-step process that prioritizes listening and learning before taking action, HOA designs and transforms spaces, and builds partnerships, ensuring true collaboration and long-term sustainability. Heart of America has served more than two million students in need by distributing more than four million books, investing $4.5 million in technology, and transforming nearly 800 school libraries, cafeterias, gymnasiums, college and career centers, tech labs, and many more educational spaces in historically marginalized communities across North America.

About iHeartMedia, Inc.
iHeartMedia, Inc. [Nasdaq: IHRT] is the leading audio media company in America, reaching over 250 million people each month. It is number one in both broadcast and digital streaming radio as well as podcasting and audio ad tech and includes three business segments: The iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group; the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group; and the Audio and Media Services Group. Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

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SOURCE Heart of America