More than 1,200 Cigna employees volunteered on Tuesday to package non-perishable food for people in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria.
Cigna worked with Feeding Children Everywhere, a charity group created after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Last year they packaged and shipped food to Kenya. After having permitting issues this year, they decided to send the food elsewhere. That is when they immediately thought of Puerto Rico, where people are struggling for basic necessities like food, water and electricity.
"For Feeding the Children, to be able to survive as an organization, we need to have partners such as Cigna. To date we have packaged 1.9 million [meals] and after today we’re going to be at 2.2 million meals over a five year period with Cigna. So it’s just tremendous for us," said Kent Zweifel, the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships.
Each bag contains six servings of lentils, rice, dehydrated vegetables and salt. Cigna employees packaged 336,000 meals.
"It’s quite amazing. I think it’s a good thing we’re able to help so many people," said Khristina Surgeon, a Cigna employee from Wethersfield.
"Where else can you take an hour from your desk and have that kind of impact. So it resonates. People come back year after year and they have a tremendous amount of fun with it," said Judy Hartling, a Civic Affairs Senior Specialists for Cigna.