Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded Mohawk Valley Latino Association a Community Health Award of $5,000 to support La Abundancia, a communal space and garden in the Cornhill neighborhood of Utica.  This permaculture demonstration garden will be designed by 20 multicultural, multigenerational students.  These students will receive valuable horticulture training and acquire transferrable skills for the job market or entrepreneurship. La Abundancia will provide the local community with free healthy food, community support, and a common place to gather for celebrating community and tradition.


“The community space and garden will directly impact those community members who are at a higher risk of poverty and inequality,” explained Sonia Martinez, Executive Director of the Mohawk Valley Latino Association.


“At La Abundancia, the community will grow and receive free healthy foods while learning the benefits of healthy eating. La Abundancia will be an oasis in the food desert.”


The mission of the Mohawk Valley Latino Association is to improve the standard of living for all Latino residents of the Mohawk Valley through various human services that will educate, empower, achieve awareness amongst different cultures, help shape young minds, and demonstrate the great opportunities available within the Mohawk Valley.


Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards help fund programs that improve the health or health care of a specific population, programs that aim to improve the health status of the community, closes the gaps in health disparities, reduces the incidence of specific diseases, promotes health education and assists our communities in dealing with COVID.


“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Eve Van de Wal, Utica regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “These awards complement our existing grants and sponsorships with agencies that work to enhance quality of life, including health status, in upstate New York.”


Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is committed to supporting local organizations that improve community health. The company’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals, policies or products.


Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Utica region encompasses Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and St. Lawrence counties.


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