Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cigna Volunteers Bring Fresh Brain Power!

A group of 15 volunteers from Cigna’s IT Leadership Program, from CT and across the nation gathered in Connecticut and spent an afternoon at Foodshare.  Using their planning and project management skills, the group helped us tackle the critical, yet complicated challenges facing the Summer Meals program. 

Although CT is fourth in the nation for providing kids meals when school is out, that only represents 26% of the kids who actually qualify for summer meals. Are kids in our region facing the risk of summer hunger? How do we get meals to every child who needs them?

Sarah Santora, Foodshare’s Community Involvement Manager and Jim Palma, one of our Community Network Builders, helped create a case study and provided an overview to the enthusiastic team from Cigna. The Cigna team asked thoughtful questions and spent 90 minutes devising new ways to notify, reach and serve more children. Ideas included better Twitter messaging of youth with meal locations, better communication with parents and working in partnership with healthcare providers who have an interest in lowering childhood obesity and promoting good nutrition as a preventative measure.

The exercise served two goals; first it allowed  the volunteers to build their leadership skills by focusing on a real issue outside of their work. It also met Foodshare’s goal of Engaging the Community in the battle against hunger.

Other organizations interested in this type of activity can contact Keith Varriale, Volunteer Program Specialist, Foodshare at (860) 286-9999 x148.

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