Newsroom | 16 September 2015

Blessings in a Backpack, Cigna Foundation and Cigna Provide Weekend Meals to Humphries Elementary School Students on "National Blessings in a Backpack Day"


Lauren Moyer, 215-761-3647
Blessings in a Backpack
Beth Bush, 502-295-2555

  • Program will feed 200 grade-school students throughout the school year
  • More than 365 students will receive food-filled backpacks at kickoff tomorrow
  • NFL mascot Freddie Falcon takes part in event as part of national movement to address childhood hunger

ATLANTA, September 16, 2015 - Two hundred students at Humphries Elementary School will receive backpacks filled with healthy food each weekend throughout the school year, made possible through a Cigna Foundation grant to Blessings in a Backpack. The national child hunger relief non-profit will implement a three-year program at the school. The kick-off program, which is sponsored by Cigna (NYSE:CI), will take place tomorrow on "National Blessings in a Backpack Day," a national movement during which cities and local governments across the country will work with local volunteers to pack bags full of food for hungry schoolchildren.

During a special event tomorrow morning, all 365 Humphries Elementary School students will receive a backpack. The school assembly will also feature a special appearance from NFL mascot Freddie Falcon to teach the students about the importance of proper nutrition for healthy bodies.

"No child should have to go hungry, and together with Cigna and the Cigna Foundation, we will continue to raise awareness of the extreme hunger problem our nation and our children face, and encourage others to get involved to make a difference. Through Blessings in a Backpack, we can all help to feed the future of America," said Brooke Wiseman, CEO, Blessings in a Backpack.

"The Cigna Foundation is committed to building a future where every child has the opportunity to achieve a healthier, more secure life," said David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation. "Hunger has a significant impact on a child's physical, mental and academic well-being. By working together with Blessings, we can ensure students come to school each day healthy, engaged and ready to learn."

"More than one in four children in Georgia face a constant struggle against hunger," said Richard Novack, president of Cigna's Mid-South market. "Child health and well-being is a primary focus for Cigna, and we're proud to work with Blessings in a Backpack as we focus on helping kids and families stay well."

Blessings in a Backpack is a results-oriented program that mobilizes communities, individuals and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry. The organization currently provides nearly 3 million hunger-free weekends to more than 78,000 children in 44 states and the District of Columbia.

The program is supported nationally and locally by the Cigna Foundation and Cigna. Child wellness is a key focus of Cigna's corporate responsibility platform, Cigna Connects. In addition, Rich Stephens, Cigna's vice president of business development, serves on the Blessings in a Backpack board of directors.

Funding for the food-filled backpacks was provided by the Cigna Foundation. Cigna and the Cigna Foundation have contributed $450,000 to Blessings in a Backpack, including a $100,000 World of Difference grant to expand the program's reach nationwide.

About Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack, People Magazine's Charity of 2012, is a results-oriented program that is designed to feed elementary school children whose families qualify for the federally funded National School Lunch Program and have little or no food on the weekends. Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health and increased attendance have all been attributed to the success of this program. As little as $100 feeds one American school child in our program for an entire 38-week school year. Blessings in a Backpack is currently feeding over 78,000 children in 44 states, the District of Columbia and 700+ schools. Please visit We are Feeding the Future of America® - one school at a time.

About the Cigna Foundation

The Cigna Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 89 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit