Helping fill America’s food pantries

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Bags of food collected at the Hockomock area YMCA in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Heather once visited a food bank for her elderly neighbors. Now, she needs help feeding her family. She’s not alone.

Heather, a married mother of two, rolled down her car window, took a deep breath for courage and quietly asked the masked volunteer for an extra bag of free food.

Over the past few weeks, Heather picked up bags from the makeshift food bank at the Attleboro area Hockomock YMCA in Franklin, Massachusetts to deliver to her elderly neighbors. But today was different.

Heather was unexpectedly furloughed from her job due to COVID-19-related shutdowns — and now her own family needed help. As she took the bag full of food from the YMCA employee, she says relief spread though her body with the knowledge that her kids would have a healthy dinner that night.

“I was worried I would have to feed my kids boxed macaroni and cheese, but the bag was full of fruits and vegetables,” Heather says.

Heather’s experience with food insecurity is one of many playing out across America in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. According to an April 2020 survey from Feeding America, a national nonprofit organization with a network of more than 200 food banks and 60,000 partner organizations, an estimated 40% of people seeking donations were visiting a food bank for the first time in their life. Equally concerning: 95% of its food banks saw more people needing help compared to last year, with an average 70% increase in demand for food assistance.

Hockomock area YMCA Board Chairman Mary Clermont and President Ed Hurley loading food into a vehicle.
Attleboro, Massachusetts, Hockomock area YMCA Board Chairman Mary Clermont and President Ed Hurley load food. On a recent Wednesday, 780 bags were picked up.

Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy at CVS Health, says the crisis took America by surprise and created a need for basic food and necessities in a way the country has never experienced before.

Because nearly 60% of a person’s life expectancy is influenced by social determinants of health — such as food insecurity — CVS Health has made community health and wellness central to its corporate social responsibility. The company provided a $1 million donation to support community and employee needs amid the pandemic, including $250,000 to support Feeding America.

Food insecurities also create added COVID vulnerability for the country’s most at-risk citizens — those with fewer resources, chronic health conditions and less mobility. “Food and health are closely linked, making it essential for us to help those facing food insecurity,” says Boone. “We have supported organizations of all sizes to help address that need quickly and efficiently. We are really all in this together.”

For Heather, CVS Health’s commitment is life-changing.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

Bags of food collected at the Hockomock area YMCA in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
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Heart At Work: Denise Zachmann

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The kindness behind the mask

You could call it the kindness behind the mask. Since 2008, a sewing team has been meeting regularly within Aetna headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut. Their basement location is equipped with supplies, sewing machines and sergers — sophisticated sewing machines generally used to make quilts. Beginning with a core group of five volunteers, the team has grown to 40 volunteers led by 24-year employee and Aetna Volunteer Coordinator Denise Zachmann (who runs about 40 volunteer projects a year and holds down her job as an executive assistant in Government Marketing).

Usually volunteers focus on head scarves for cancer patients, scent cloths for premature babies and themed pillow cases for children attending the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. During the COVID-19 crisis, volunteers are sewing face masks at home. Masks go to multiple area hospitals and medical centers where the need is great. When it comes to supplies Denise needs to be resourceful. She re-allocates fabric from other projects. Elastic is scarce, so the team uses ribbon, bias tape and shoe laces.

Volunteer Bo Hallowell has been with Aetna for 23 years. Her “day job” involves project management for Government Marketing, but lately she’s also putting in dozens of personal hours sewing masks for first responders in her Windsor, Connecticut, community. “I’ve got it down to a science,” she says with a smile. A flood of material donations, says Bo, “is a beautiful example of a community coming together.” For Bo the work is personal: her daughter is a part-time EMT, her sister is a pharmacist and two cousins are police officers. They are on the frontlines serving the public and she’s helping to keep them safe so they can do their jobs.

Bo Hallowell, making face masks using a sewing machine.
Sewing protective masks is personal for Bo Hallowell. Her family includes health care providers and police officers.

Says Denise, “Bo has taken up the gauntlet — sewing about 150 masks a week and distributing them to local organizations meaningful to her, including the Granby, Connecticut, Police and nearby hospitals.

The sewing team receives support from Community Affairs, which connects with Aetna’s 56 plus volunteer councils. “Their work is a prime example of Aetna’s commitment to be local,” explains Floyd W. Green III, Vice President, Community Affairs. “The cost to Aetna is minimal, but the elevation of our reputation is priceless.”

The Hartford sewing team is determined to do what they can to help others during this challenging time. We thank them for their skill and their immense generosity of heart to help their communities.

Denise Zachmann, wearing a face mask.
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Supporting causes that matter to our employees

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When Erin Wright’s daughter was born 15 weeks premature, she weighed 1 pound, 5 ounces and had to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 16 weeks.

When leaving the hospital to bring their daughter home for the first time, Erin’s husband turned to her and said, “We are going to give back to this place because this place gave us our daughter.”

That’s exactly what Erin and her husband have done thanks in part to the CVS Health Foundation Volunteer Challenge Grant Program. The program helps colleagues like Erin, a healthcare category manager, provide even more support to the causes that matter to them.

When leaving the hospital to bring their daughter home for the first time, Erin’s husband turned to her and said, “We are going to give back to this place because this place gave us our daughter.”
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Grants, which range from $500 to $5,000, are awarded directly to the organization on the colleague’s behalf.

“We hear all the time from the organizations that receive challenge grants that they really rely on those funds,” says Joanne Dwyer, CVS Health Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability. “They're critical in helping them advance their mission.”

Along with Erin, watch the video to see how the program is supporting colleagues like CVS Pharmacy intern Willie Dunnam. Willie is working with the underserved population in Mobile through a student-run free health clinic, which recently used $1,000 from the program to purchase an AED (automated external defibrillator).

“Everybody has a chance to volunteer,” says Willie. “It shows you what you can do.”

A photo of Erin Wright in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UMass Memorial Health Care.
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CVS Caremark Charitable Trust to Award $25,000 to Nonprofits Nationwide on #GivingTuesday to Celebrate the Spirit of Volunteerism

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), today announced that it will provide $25,000 in grants in honor of #GivingTuesday, a national movement when charities, individuals, schools, businesses and other community organizations will come together on Tuesday, December 3 to create a national day of giving back. As part of CVS Caremark's #GivingTuesday initiative, CVS Caremark colleagues who volunteer their time are invited to nominate a local organization in their community to receive a grant from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will randomly select 25 organizations from colleagues' submissions and announce the grantees on #GivingTuesday.

"CVS Caremark colleagues bring our values of caring and collaboration to life all year long by volunteering with organizations that are helping the people we serve, every day," saidEileen Howard Boone, President, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. "We're excited to participate in #GivingTuesday to honor our colleagues and their commitment to their local communities and are proud to join a national movement that promotes the spirit of volunteerism and giving back."

#GivingTuesday is a national campaign created in 2012 to spark a day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season, following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It celebrates charities, individuals, schools, businesses and other community organizations who come together tosupport charitable causes, and encourages everyone to participate in a national day dedicated to giving back. #GivingTuesday aligns with the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and its mission to make a positive impact in the lives of people by investing in local communities.

"This year we are seeing so many dynamic campaigns like this one from CVS Caremark coming together to form one community. There is so much energy and entrepreneurialism throughout the #GivingTuesday movement," said Henry Timms,#GivingTuesdayfounder and interim executive director of 92nd Street Y. "It has been humbling to see an idea that took root in one of 92Y's core values repairing the world resonate with people, organizations, and business entities around the world who have taken it upon themselves not only to inspire giving, but to support the volunteers and local heroes in their own communities."

CVS Caremark will announce its #GivingTuesday grantees on December 3 through social media. For more information about #GivingTuesday, please visit http://community.givingtuesday.org

About the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust
The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, Inc. is a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS). CVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the nation. The Trust's mission is to provide funding for health care, education, disaster relief and community involvement initiatives in CVS Caremark communities. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Investor Relations portion of the Company's Web site at http://investor.cvs.com, or through the Web site's press roomwww.cvscaremark.com/newsroom.

PRESS CONTACTS

Joanne Dwyer, CVS Caremark

Eva Pereira, for CVS Caremark

401-770-2898

(781) 559-0424

jdwyer@cvs.com

eva.pereira@rfbinder.com

SOURCE CVS Caremark Charitable Trust

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CVS Caremark Charitable Trust Awards $25,000 to Nonprofits Nationwide on #GivingTuesday to Celebrate the Spirit of Volunteerism

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), today announced the 25 organizations that will receive $1,000 in grants as a part of CVS Caremark's #GivingTuesday initiative, which invited CVS Caremark colleagues to nominate an organization in their community that they volunteer with, to receive a grant from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131203/NE26463-INFO)

Today is the 2nd annual #GivingTuesday, a national campaign created to spark a day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season, following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It celebrates charities, individuals, schools, businesses and other community organizations who come together tosupport charitable causes, and encourages everyone to participate in a national day dedicated to giving back. #GivingTuesday aligns with the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and its mission to make a positive impact in the lives of people by investing in local communities.

"#GivingTuesday reminds us that the holiday season should go beyond shopping and be a special time of year when we give back to our local communities," saidEileen Howard Boone, President, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. "Through our #GivingTuesday initiative, we are not only providing deserving non-profit organizations with funding, but we are honoring our colleagues who bring our values of caring and collaboration to life all year long by volunteering with organizations that are helping the people we serve, every day."

Funding through the #GivingTuesday grant program will support 25 colleague-nominated organizations nationwide, including:

  • East Tennessee Children's Hospital of Knoxville, TN
  • Danny Did Foundation of Chicago, IL
  • Flying Horse Farms by Paul Newman of Cleveland, OH
  • Food for Kids Backpacks to Go Program of Murraysville, PA
  • Girl Scouts Rhode Island of Warwick, RI
  • Girls Inc. of Dallas, TX
  • Special Olympics of Mount Pleasant, MI
  • Waianae Boys and Girls Club of Waianae, HI
  • Hope in Bloom of Dedham, MA
  • Providence Animal Rescue League of Providence, RI
  • Wayside Waifs of Kansas City, MO
  • American Brain Tumor Association of Chicago, IL
  • Happily Ever After League (HEAL) of Scottsdale, AZ
  • Hospice of the Valley of Phoenix, AZ
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of New York City, NY
  • Michael J. Fox Foundation of New York City, NY
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network of Manhattan Beach, CA
  • T.J. Martel Foundation of Nashville, TN
  • Big Sister Association of Boston, MA
  • Lovin' Spoonfuls of Boston, MA
  • Operation Homefront of San Antonio, TX
  • Pat Tillman Foundation of Chicago, IL
  • Wounded Warrior Project of Pittsburgh, PA
  • American Cancer Society of New York City, NY
  • Arizona Animal Welfare League of Scottsdale, AZ

For more information about #GivingTuesday, please visit http://community.givingtuesday.org

About the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust
The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, Inc. is a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS). CVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the nation. The Trust's mission is to provide funding for health care, education, disaster relief and community involvement initiatives in CVS Caremark communities. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Investor Relations portion of the Company's Web site atinfo.cvscaremark.com/investors.

PRESS CONTACTS
Joanne Dwyer, CVS Caremark
(401) 770-2898
jdwyer@cvs.com

Eva Pereira, for CVS Caremark
(781) 559-0424
eva.pereira@rfbinder.com

SOURCE CVS Caremark Charitable Trust

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