Cigna fighting hunger locally and abroad - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cigna fighting hunger locally and abroad

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The year 2017 has brought on more natural disasters and tragedies than in years' past and communities have stepped up in several ways through donating funds and supplies. 

Cigna in Chattanooga is responding too through an event called Cigna Fights Hunger. 

Employees formed an assembly line Thursday to package 100,000 meals in one day. 

Each person has a job measuring, bagging, sealing and boxing red lentil jambalaya meals. 

It's all to fight hunger because 150,000 people in Chattanooga go to bed hungry, many of those are children. 

Eighty percent of the meals packaged on Thursday will go to people in Chattanooga. 

The rest will go with a disaster team with Remote Area Medical to Puerto Rico. 

"As we get down there we're trying to provide medical relieff to those in need. If they're hungry, it's a lot harder to help them. So the first step is giving them a full belly and getting them warm and then we can get them medically treated," Poppy Treen with Remote Area Medical said.

"We're packing bags with lentil casserole and that's made up of lentils, vegetables, rice, and pink sea salt," Tom Philibotte with Cigna said. 

There have been a number of disasters this year where a lot of people have already been donating their time, money and goods making it tough on organizations that rely on donations as they head into their busiest time of the year. 

"In year's past, the last quarter for us has been one of the busiest times as the end of the year comes a lot of donations come as people's budgets, a lot of people have  money to give. This one, their money hasn't been coming toward us so it's been a little challenging. It's going toward disaster relief," Kent Zweifel with Feed Children Everywhere said. 

Chattanooga's Cigna branch is joining other officers across the country for this event. 

It's an initiative Cigna has done for the last five years preparing almost two million meals.

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