CHICAGO — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) today is announcing that an expanded pool of 175 non-profit organizations will each be receiving $20,000 in grants to address crucial needs for people across the state as a result of COVID-19.
Last month, BCBSIL opened applications for this second round of quick-release funding as part of its COVID-19 Community Collaboration Fund. The grant program is aimed at supporting community-based organizations doing work in five focus areas - access to care, hunger, shelter and behavioral health care, and COVID-19 health education and vaccine access.
Originally announced in February as a $1.5M grant opportunity, BCBSIL more than doubled the amount of available funds by reinvesting payments from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services for providing quality care to Medicaid members.
“We received 560 applications for this round of grants — more than we’ve received for any other funding opportunity in recent memory,” said Harmony Harrington, vice-president government and community relations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. “A year into the pandemic and the health, economic and social impacts around Illinois are still great. We’re happy to be able to help these organizations serve those in need — we hope this list of grantees will let people know where they can turn to for crucial assistance.”
The entire list of 175 grant recipients is available in our newsroom. These organizations represent organizations that serve multiple counties, such as Midwest Food Bank, as well as non-profits focused hyper-locally on the needs of their communities, such as the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council in Chicago and Contact Ministries in Springfield.
In May 2020, BCBSIL distributed $1.5M in the first round of the COVID-19 Community Collaboration Fund. Overall, BCBSIL has committed $6.5M in COVID-19 support to community organizations, as well as direct donations of PPE, food and school supplies across Illinois. Learn more on our dedicated COVID-19 website about how we are responding to the pandemic for our members, including expanding access in areas such as testing, treatment, pharmacy and telehealth related to COVID-19.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to expanding access to quality, cost-effective health care to as many people as possible in Illinois. BCBSIL is dedicated to innovation and exploring, nurturing and activating future possibilities to make the health care system work better for our members and our communities. BCBSIL is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.