LOS ANGELES, July 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- While many students in Los Angeles County will not return to in-person classes this fall due to COVID-19, they will still need school supplies. In fact, some therapists say it's important to continue the regular back-to-school traditions, like shopping for a backpack and school supplies to give children a feeling of normalcy. Unfortunately, one in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty, and families are struggling to put food on the table because of pandemic-related job losses. For many, school supplies are simply too much.
That's why L.A. Care Health Plan and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan are holding seven Back-to-School Drive-Thru events through their Community Resource Centers network. Three of the events will be combined with food pantries.
"As we approach the new school year, we anticipate challenges will continue as children face an extended distance learning period," said Francisco Oaxaca, Chief of Communications and Community Relations, L.A. Care Health Plan. "We want to do everything we can to ensure that the most under-resourced children have the best chance to thrive and succeed in school. And something as simple as having the right school supplies may help give them that."
At each of the seven drive-thru events, the health plans will distribute 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies, and local nonprofit Access Books will distribute 100 tote bags stuffed with three children's books featuring positive, uplifting stories to help young readers cope with the stresses caused by the pandemic.
"Regardless of what returning to school may look like this year, we know students will need the necessary materials to succeed," said Kellie Todd Griffin, Senior Director, Community and Provider Engagement, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. "Many families are in need during this difficult time, and we are committed to be a resource by providing backpacks, filled with essential school supplies, to help alleviate additional burdens as they prepare for the start of the school year."
In September of last year, L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise announced a combined investment of $146 million dollars as part of a five-year commitment to expand Community Resource Centers across Los Angeles County. This unique collaboration will help improve health outcomes in local communities and the total quality of life for members of the two health plans. Each center will connect members from both plans and the Los Angeles community to classes and personalized services that will address social needs and keep them active, healthy and informed.
The Back-to-School events are an extension of that goal. Four events will be hosted by the health plans' jointly operated Community Resource Centers, and three will be hosted by L.A. Care Family Resource Centers. Below are the dates and locations for the Back-to-School Drive-Thru events:
About L.A. Care Health Plan L.A. Care Health Plan serves nearly 2.2 million members in Los Angeles County, making it the largest publicly-operated health plan in the country. L.A. Care offers four health coverage plans including Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Covered™, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect and the PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Plan, all dedicated to being accountable and responsive to members. As a public entity, L.A. Care's mission is to provide access to quality health care for L.A. County's vulnerable and low-income communities, and to support the safety net required to achieve that purpose. L.A. Care prioritizes quality, access and inclusion, elevating health care for all of L.A. County. For more information, visit lacare.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
About Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan is a managed care organization, wholly owned by Blue Shield of California, offering Medi-Cal, Cal MediConnect, Medicare Advantage HMO, and Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans. It is led by healthcare professionals with a "members-first" philosophy and committed to building a quality network of providers and partnering with community organizations for more than 400,000 members.