On Wednesday August 26, 2020, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Montefiore Health System hosted their annual “Heath and Literacy Back to School Event,” at Roberto Clemente State Park, distributing school supplies and health information to Bronx families.

Bronx Borough President Diaz Jr. was joined by Deputy Borough President Marricka Scott-McFadden, Council Member Vanessa Gibson, representatives from Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Montefiore Health System in giving away back-to-school care packages that included  face masks, universal stylus pen, combo antibacterial spray / wipe for technology use, and health-related information as Bronx children get set to start the new academic year. Empire BlueCross BlueShield supported the event by providing 1,000 backpacks, school supplies, including pens, pencils, notebooks and rulers as well as hand sanitizers.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has created new dynamics our parents and students have to navigate as they get ready for the new school year,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “We want to ensure that parents are not overwhelmed by the need to buy school supplies for their children, particularly those economically hit hard by the pandemic. It is important that we make sure we all do our part, that students receive everything they need to further improve their scholastic skill-sets and reach their fullest academic potential despite the hardships created by this global crisis.”

“At Empire, we understand the vital role that education plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and we want to ensure that Bronx  students have the materials they need to start the school year off right,” said Jennifer Kuhn, Empire BlueCross BlueShield Medicaid Plan President. “As families continue to deal with the uncertainties brought on by the pandemic, Empire remains committed to supporting our communities and we’re proud to be partnering with the Bronx Borough on this initiative to help New Yorkers during these unsettling times.”

“Montefiore is proud to support local initiatives that contribute to the overall wellness of our communities. That is why we feel privileged to once again partner with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. during this 2020 Back to School Health and Literacy Event. This year has challenged us in ways we never thought possible, but despite the obstacles we must continue to push forward and meet the needs of those who we proudly care for,” said Marcos A. Crespo, SVP Community Affairs, Montefiore Medical Center.

You can find photos of the event here: https://bit.ly/34yyEdn.