BlueCross BlueShield Distributes Thousands of PPE to Small Businesses

Effort is part of ongoing community support during pandemic

In response to continuing needs of businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York distributed 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) items to essential small businesses in Western New York.

Nearly 200 small local businesses received kits that include face masks, hand sanitizers and gaiter face coverings for their employees. Several versions of workplace signage with proper COVID-19 safety precautions, provided by The Buffalo Sabres and The Buffalo Niagara Partnership, are also included in the kits.

“BlueCross BlueShield understands the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our local economy, especially small business owners,” said Julie R. Snyder, senior vice president, chief marketing and communications officer at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. “As a community-based health plan that has been serving the region’s employers for over 85 years, BlueCross BlueShield is proud to step in and help support our local business community during these trying times.”

As part of its ongoing efforts to support the community during the pandemic, BlueCross BlueShield also recently partnered with The Buffalo Sabres to distribute 10,000 PPE kits, containing a mask and hand sanitizer, to local teachers and students throughout Western New York. Plus, through a partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr, Foundation, The Teacher’s Desk and Project Play WNY, the local plan distributed 12,000 PlayPacks including playground ball, two tennis balls, jump ropes, chalk and a “Free Play” deck of cards, featuring healthy activity challenges, to 43 Buffalo Public Schools in efforts to help keep students active, especially now, as students continue to adapt to remote learning.

As a community-based health plan, BlueCross BlueShield’s Blue Fund donated $1 million to the WNY COVID-19 Response Fund to address the most critical and immediate community needs. The nonprofit health plan also recently announced it distributed $2.1 million in relief for nearly 150 local primary care provider groups through its COVID-19 Provider Relief Program. This is in addition to an $80,000 donation to 16 local organizations recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, plus a donation of five tons of food for FeedMore WNY by BlueCross BlueShield employees.

To learn more about BlueCross BlueShield’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit

Photo: Snyder