When you think of summers as a kid, you may think of summer camps or baseball fields. But for some kids in the U.S., summer can be a difficult time, because it can be one without easy access to meals. Kids, when in school, are able to have at least one nutritious meal a day. In the summer, that’s not as easy to come by.
At Land O’Lakes, the Dairy Foods Foodservice team is one that innately cares about feeding kids – it is their mission after all. Recently, while attending the School Nutrition Association Annual Nutrition Conference (ANC) in Las Vegas, the K12 Foodservice team with the Land O’Lakes Community Relations and Foundation were able to give a donation to hungry kids in need. The K12 Foodservice team also volunteered their time, while focusing on business goals.
ANC brings together K12 school districts, leaders, nutrition experts and experts from USDA. The Foodservice team has long attended and hosted a booth at ANC, and in recent years have consciously added a “giving back” element to all of it. This year was no different – with three activations happening simultaneously.
“We do what we do in Foodservice K12 because we have a passion for feeding hungry kids,” says Cheryl Isberner, senior marketing manager for Foodservice strategic channels.
Three ways to do good with Three Square
This year, the philanthropic backdrop was three-fold, all while partnered with Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas, a Feeding America Food Bank.
The first part of the initiative took place at the Conference, where each attendee was given a bag of conference related materials that included a map of the floor, denoting where each booth was located. In addition to the map, there was also a small paper printout of a backpack with information about Land O’Lakes. If an attendee took this backpack to the Land O’Lakes booth, Land O’Lakes would donate a backpack of food to Three Square. By the end of the conference, there were 350 backpacks, nearly $2,500 in monetary donations to go to Three Square
The second took place the morning before the first day of the Conference. The small but mighty Foodservice team broke into two groups and packed breakfast meals at Three Square and over the course of a few hours, they had packed 1,900 meals. Also, for their time volunteered, the Land O’Lakes Foundation and Community Relations will match their time with an additional $500 donation to the food bank as part of our corporate Group Volunteer Program.
The final activation was that the Land O’Lakes Foundation also donated a truckload of nutritious whole-grain mac and cheese through the First Run Program to Three Square that week. A food bank like Three Square will take donations (both products and monetary) and then distribute them to partner food pantries across the Nevada community.
“Our goal in Foodservice is to feed kids,” says Cheryl. “Giving back to the community gives recognition to our business unit, too. There’s a global mission at Land O’Lakes to feed the world, but that includes our own communities, too.”