Superior Health Foundation

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan partners with Superior Health Foundation to address food inadequacies in schools during COVID-19 pandemic

In rapid response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and its effects on school-age children in the Upper Peninsula, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is committing philanthropic dollars to the Upper Peninsula to provide funding to public schools to ensure lunches are available. 

Blue Cross is committing $12,500 in its first phase of funding, while the Superior Health Foundation – a health-centered, non-profit organization in the Upper Peninsula which has readily agreed to act as the fiduciary of the funds – will provide $12,500 in matching funding. 

“Blue Cross has been actively engaged in school-based nutrition programs for more than a decade in Michigan, so we know the urgent need that some kids have to get their meals at school.  It’s critical to identify and feed these vulnerable kids while school is out,” said Daniel J. Loepp, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan president & CEO, in a prepared statement. “The community’s response to this pandemic is incredible.  All of this work reinforces that we can best overcome this crisis by working together.”

Statewide, Blue Cross will provide $500,000 to support the efforts of community-based organizations across Michigan to provide meals to vulnerable kids as schools across Michigan close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and support other efforts to protect seniors and other populations in need. Blue Cross joins many other organizations in this effort. The Superior Health Foundation’s Grants Committee overwhelmingly agreed to match the initial funding.

“We are in unprecedented waters, but as an organization and team, we fully understand the needs to ensure our children receive proper food and nutrition during this very difficult time,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “We are honored to act as the fiduciary for this vitally important initiative.” 

School districts can apply for up to $500 in initial funding to help with food expenses. SHF is partnering with the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency (MARESA) to identify key contacts at U.P.-wide schools to jumpstart the application process. 

“The funding is in hand and we will work closely with the school districts across the region to distribute checks as soon as we possibly can,” LaJoie said. “It’s truly a collaborative effort.”

Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath. Simple measures like washing your hands often with soap and water can help stop viruses like coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading. For more information, contact LaJoie at the Superior Health Foundation at 225-3431 or email

About Superior Health Foundation

The Superior Health Foundation is a health-centered, grant-giving organization serving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It provides funding to address equipment, health education and program needs to support non-profit organizations across the Upper Peninsula for the health benefit of all Upper Peninsula residents. For more information, visit

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit and

Newsletter Sign Up

Newsletter Sign Up
Superior Health Foundation
Superior Health Foundation
Several weeks ago, the Superior Health Foundation partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to provide funding to public schools in the U.P. to assure lunches are available. BCBS and SHF each committed $12,500 in funding to the project.
We're pleased to report that dozens of school districts across the region have been provided funding to help them through the Covid-19 Pandemic.
There are limited dollars still remaining in the fund. If interested in applying, simply visit and click on the Covid-19 Relief School Meal Funding Application.
The map below and accompanying info show the U.P. counties impacted by this funding. It goes without saying that SHF is tremendously grateful to BCBS of Michigan for engaging SHF on this incredible partnership to feed our children.
Superior Health Foundation
Superior Health Foundation
As many of you know, the Superior Health Foundation launched the Covid-19 Pandemic Fund a week ago today to help health-centered, non-profits and organizations across the Upper Peninsula with immediate equipment, sanitary supplies and other other needs. We want to hear from you.
To date, we have funded a number of organizations across the U.P. and we want to do more. We're willing and able to talk, to listen, to help you during this unprecedented time.
To apply for funding, for up to $1,000, simply visit and click on the Covid-19 Pandemic Fund button on the home page.
We also encourage you to give a charitable, tax-deductible git to help support this fund. With your generosity, we can help many, many during this time of angst and uncertainty. You can direct your gift to the area of greatest need, to masks, to cleaning supplies and to office equipment.
Thank you for your tremendous support. If you have questions or needs, simply email
Superior Health Foundation
Superior Health Foundation
Covid-19 Update on UP Connect/Rides For Wellness for Non-Emergent Medical Transportation in the U.P.

At this time, public transit agencies across the Upper Peninsula and the MTC ConnectUP Rides To Wellness program are still operating as normal. We are still accepting trip requests and fulfilling them and will continue to do so as long as our transportation partners remain open and functioning.
As everything with the new reality we are living under the Covid-19 pandemic, this situation is fluid and can change on a daily basis. Unless transit agencies are forced to suspend operations, though, we intend to still be able to function and schedule trips.
We are seeing a lot of medical appointments cancelled, some by the medical providers and some by the riders who do not choose to venture out of their homes. We have worked with all of our providers to make sure that vehicles are properly cleaned and disinfected on a regular daily schedule, often several times per day.
We have temporarily suspended further build-out of our transportation provider network and have cut back significantly on bringing on new funding partners; however, due to the uncertainty of the current situation.
All of our MTC employees are currently working remotely from their homes.
We are hopeful that the immediate danger from the coronavirus will pass quickly and that we can resume full operations in the not-too-distant future.