ORLANDO – As part of the Orlando Magic's and Florida Blue's continuing commitment to the community focusing on the current needs in Central Florida, the two are teaming up to "Block Out Hunger" with Florida Blue donating 10 meals to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida for every block the Magic have throughout the 2020-'21 season.
"The Magic are thrilled to once again join our longtime partners Florida Blue in our quest to be world champions off the court," said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. "Through the Block Out Hunger program we hope to come one step closer to eliminating hunger in our community. The pandemic has brought to the forefront this ever-pressing issue of food insecurity and together we will continue to look for ways to assist the many families in need. The Block Out Hunger program with Florida Blue is just one way for us to accomplish this goal."
The needs of the Orlando community are vast, and the Magic and Florida Blue look to address one of the most prevalent issues—hunger. Hundreds of thousands in our local community do not know where their next meal will come from, and the pandemic has made the issue even more dire. Florida Blue and the Magic will provide an assist to many families in need with “Block Out Hunger.” The program will culminate at the end of the regular season with a donation directly to Second Harvest and a portion of meals will be distributed at a drive-thru event following the season.
The Magic and Florida Blue have a decade-long community partnership that most recently centered around the former Baskets for Books program. With one book donated for every point made by the Magic, more than 54,000 books were donated to the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County since 2010.
As one of the Magic’s three focus areas and one of Florida Blue's community pillars, hunger remains a point of emphasis for the two organizations (research below provided by Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida).
1. One in six children face hunger, and due to COVID-19, the community faces increased demand for food insecure families.
2. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has already doubled the amount of food leaving its distribution center on a daily basis to stock the shelves at local emergency food pantries across all six counties.
3. Emergency food pantries continue to be the front line in this evolving situation and a convenient way for individuals and families to find the food they need in their neighborhood.
“Our neighbors are in need of our support like never before. The numbers are growing at an alarming rate, and they aren’t showing signs of slowing down. By joining with the Magic, we’re not only improving food security in our community but also raising awareness about this critical need,” said Tony Jenkins, Florida Blue market president. “Ensuring our neighbors have dependable access to quality, healthy food is essential to our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health.”
About Florida Blue
Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, has been providing health insurance to residents of Florida for more than 75 years. Driven by its mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, the company serves more than 5 million health care members across the state. In total, Florida Blue and its affiliated companies serve 27 million people in 45 states. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.