SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Central Illinois Foodbank recently received a $37,500 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield to provide protein to our neighbors throughout central and southern Illinois. 

This grant will allow the Foodbank to expand its distribution of lean protein through the Healthy Foods Distribution program, which was developed to assist in providing consistent access to nutritious foods, including fresh produce, dairy and protein. 

Funds from this grant will allow the Foodbank to procure and distribute nearly 30,000 pounds of ground turkey to partner agencies, schools, health centers and through traditional Healthy Foods Distributions. 

“This turkey will help feed approximately 30 families we serve each month,” said Jim Moffett from Northwestern Food Pantry in Palmyra. 

Providing access to healthy foods is one of the Foodbank’s highest priorities due to the number of households that have members with health ailments who could benefit from having access to nutritious foods. 

According to the Hunger in America 2014 Report for Central Illinois Foodbank, 36% of households we serve have at least one member with diabetes and 71% have at least one member with high blood pressure.