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Mayor's Press Releases

Posted on: October 18, 2018

Healthy BR Receives Nearly $2M to Address Food Deserts

BATON ROUGE, LA — October 18, 2018 — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced that Healthy BR is the recipient of nearly $2 million in grant funds from the Humana Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation for the Geaux Get Healthy program.

Geaux Get Healthy will work in three Baton Rouge-area ZIP codes with the highest rates of food insecurity and health disparities (70805, 70807, and 70802). With a coalition of local partners, this program will make fresh food available at an affordable price and provide educational programs to increase consumption of fresh food, including:

  • Discounted fresh food through Top Box NOLA, which residents can order through local churches, corner stores, and other convenient locations
  • A mobile market that will bring fresh food into neighborhoods, managed by Grow Baton Rouge
  • A community-led outdoor event space that will promote and support Geaux Get Healthy programs, created by MetroMorphosis
  • An urban youth farm that will grow food, teach food sustainability, and develop leadership skills, run by The Walls Project
  • A fresh food initiative to bring a grocery store to food desert areas, created by HOPE Credit Union

“I made a commitment to invest in disinvested communities, and with today’s announcement, we are doing just that,” said Mayor Broome. “By working alongside the community, we will address the social determinants of health that affect the lives of all residents. This program will address food insecurity and social isolation, which brings us one step closer to becoming a community of peace, prosperity, and progress. I want to thank both the Humana Foundation and the Blue Cross Foundation for coming together to support our community.”

“With these major commitments, such as the $700,000 investment to Healthy BR that we are announcing today, the Humana Foundation is investing in programs that are focused on decreasing barriers and obstacles to support people and communities in achieving their best possible health,” said Walter Woods, CEO of the Humana Foundation. “By investing in programs where leadership, culture and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes, we are excited to partner with Healthy BR to achieve greater health equity in Baton Rouge.”

Through the Geaux Get Healthy grant, Healthy BR has brought together two major insurance foundations to help address health disparities in our community.

“As one of the founding partners of Healthy BR, we’ve been steadily impressed with the difference this organization has made over the years through effective collaboration. A coalition of healthcare and community partners is the best way to address the underlying issues that create Louisiana’s health disparities,” said Michael Tipton, President of the Blue Cross Foundation.

“We are humbled to be a part of this impressive group of committed allies, including the Humana Foundation, the mayor and Healthy BR, and are proud to invest $1,000,000 over the next three years to this effort,” he added.

For more information, visit


About Healthy BR

Healthy BR brings together more than 90 hospitals, non-profit organizations, local businesses, schools, and governmental institutions that collaborate to significantly impact Baton Rouge’s health priorities. Their success in bringing together key stakeholders to work toward common goals designed to make Baton Rouge a healthier city for all is a shining example of population health management. Healthy BR serves as a best practice model for other cities, has been recognized with the American Hospital Association’s prestigious NOVA award, and participates in the National League of Cities’ Learning Collaborative on Health Disparities. Visit to learn more. 


About the Humana Foundation

The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies. Located in Louisville, Ky., the Foundation seeks to co-create communities where leadership, culture, and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes. For more information, visit


In 2018, the Humana Foundation launched a new Strategic Community Investment Program. Through the program, the Foundation is investing $7 million in 2018 in nonprofit organizations operating in seven Bold Goal communities – Knoxville, Tn.; Louisville, Ky., San Antonio, Texas; Baton Rouge, La.; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Broward County, Fla. – to improve the health of the communities Humana serves 20 percent by 2020. 


Humana and the Humana Foundation are dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility. Our goal is to ensure that every business decision we make reflects our commitment to improving the health and well-being of our members, our employees, the communities we serve, and our planet. 

About the Blue Cross Foundation

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianans by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The Foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. Together, Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Foundation invest more than $3 million each year into Louisiana’s communities and nonprofits.

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