AdkAction Receives Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Community Health Award

UTICA, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded AdkAction a
Community Health Award of $2,500 to support their Keeseville Community Garden. The
garden serves the rural community of Keeseville where residents lack access to a nearby
grocery store. The garden is cared for by local volunteers and food is donated to the
adjacent WIC clinic and food pantries.

“The garden is an offshoot of our nearby “Farmacy” project at the Keeseville Pharmacy,
a mixed-use model that incorporates a farm fresh grocery section into an existing
business’ storefront to increase access in this food desert area,” explains AdkAction
Executive Director Sawyer Cresap. “Our vision is for the garden to become a community-
led initiative that empowers individuals and increases access to healthy fresh food. It will
also serve as a gathering place for education and outreach that will benefit all members of
this rural community.”

AdkAction creates projects that address unmet needs, promote vibrant communities,
and preserve the natural beauty of the Adirondacks for all. AdkAction projects work to
significantly improve the social, economic, and cultural lives of local residents and
enhance the long-term natural resources and character of the Adirondack Park.
With over 40 years of farming experience, Peggy Dayes serves as the onsite garden
manager providing ongoing support for volunteers, and consistent care of the garden
throughout the growing season. The garden also serves as a learning space for local
children. AdkAction will cultivate a family educational series to include mini-workshops
on topics related to gardening, nutrition, compost and food waste, food systems, and
healthy eating.

Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community
Health Awards provide funding to launch, expand, and sustain programs and services
that promote health. These investments advance health equity by extending the reach
of preventive health services or health-promoting programs to vulnerable populations.

The health plan’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does
not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals,
policies, or products.

“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to
support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” states
Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Utica regional president. “Access to
nutritious fresh food is vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities and we are
pleased to support AdkAction’s Keeseville Community Garden with this essential
community health funding.”

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Utica region encompasses Clinton, Delaware, Essex,
Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida,
Otsego and St. Lawrence counties.

# # #

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a
nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help
people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its
products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access
to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining
a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to
engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more,
visit ExcellusBCBS.com.

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