NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Cigna employees package thousands of meals for Puerto Rico

Posted at 2:19 PM, Oct 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-18 14:19:22-04

Cigna employees in Bloomfield planned to work late into the afternoon hours of Tuesday to package thousands of meals for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

They said the meals will be shipped right away.

Some included lentils, rice, dehydrated vegetables and Himalayan salt.

Cigna said it joined with Feeding Children Everywhere for its Cigna Fights Hunger Project.

This year, the focus has been Puerto Rico.

“People don’t have food. People don’t have water,” said Judy Hartling of Cigna. “It’s basic needs, and seeing the photos and the news coverage is heart-wrenching. This is basic. We need to help these people.”

Employees worked as a team to assemble the packages.

They said the devastation hit home for them and gave them a deeper appreciation for the simplest of things.

“Everyday I think about how lucky I am to have power, food, when they’re struggling just to get by, just to have water, just to have shelter,” said Joy Cipollo of Cigna. “It’s really heartbreaking.”

Cigna said its employees will be working until about 4 p.m. They’ve been working in one hour shifts.

By the end of the day, it expects to have packaged more than 300,000 meals.

Employees called the experience rewarding because of the scale of the effort. They said they hope they can at least bring some comfort to people on the island.

“Hopefully, when they get these packages,they’re going to cook them up and have a nice, warm, home-cooked meal and hopefully that will give them a little bit of sense of security,” Hartling said.