CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust recently donated $60,000 to state food banks in support of an employee volunteer effort that collected more than two tons of food, and provided more than 500 hours of labor in support of these organizations.

In November and December, BlueCross employees in six offices across Tennessee donated food to benefit people in their local communities, and worked at local food banks sorting food and filling boxes. BlueCross also donated food-filled backpacks for food bank student programs. While working at the food banks, employees presented officials with checks for $10,000.

"During these challenging times, the problem of hunger has grown and forced more people to seek assistance from their local food banks, and our BlueCross employees wanted to do something substantial to help our fellow Tennesseans," said Kathy Bingham, manager of community relations for BlueCross. "We call our dedicated BlueCross volunteers Team Blue, and they really stepped up statewide in this effort. The $60,000 donation from the Trust supports and punctuates their hard work."

Beneficiaries of the Team Blue food drive were: Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Regional Inter-Faith Association in Jackson, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee near Johnson City, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee in Knoxville, Mid-South Food Bank in Memphis, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee in Nashville.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.