Chelan Fresh Donates Portable Meal Carts to Serve 1.6 Million Meals Annually; Mac Riggan and Jean Ragalie-Carr Discuss
TACOMA, WA & SAN ANTONIA, TX - There is no doubt that this school year is looking a little different, especially after a year and a half of social distancing. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is students’ need for healthy, high-quality meals. With more than 13 million students in the U.S. lacking access to nutritious food on a regular basis, Chelan Fresh has joined forces with Fuel Up to Play 60 to donate school meal carts to be used in schools across Washington and Texas.
“As one of the original supporters of the Fuel Up to Play 60 team, Chelan Fresh has been a leader in the produce industry ensuring kids try and continue to choose nutritious food items at school and at home,” said Mac Riggan, Director of Marketing at Chelan Fresh.
According to a press release, Chelan Fresh has donated twelve Grab and Goal school meal carts to participating schools, which will serve an estimated 1.6 million meals a year, in addition to an estimated 2.7 million meals served as a result of carts donated during previous collaborations in prior school years. This donation marks the 10th consecutive year that Chelan Fresh has supported Fuel Up to Play 60. The company began its support of the program in 2011, and has provided over $755,000 in funding and resources for students since.
According to a study by Feeding America, the effects of COVID-19 have heightened the impacts of food insecurity, as 1 in 6 children do not have access to nutritious foods. The donation of these carts are a way to deliver healthy food while ensuring safety and meeting school guidelines.
“Thirty million students rely on school meals every day,” said Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND, President, National Dairy Council, “and with childhood food insecurity rates rising, access to nutritious school meals is one way to help students meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for dairy foods, produce, whole grains, and lean sources of protein, which are all important for growth and development.”
The rolling carts provided by Chelan Fresh offer an easy solution to school nutrition and meal service teams, and allows them to repurpose the carts to deliver meals to classrooms or parking lots and other areas to provide students easy access to nutritious foods. The carts will be provided to recipient schools in Washington and Texas in time for the 2021-2022 school year.
“On behalf of National Dairy Council, dairy farmers, and the dairy community, we’re thankful to continue our longstanding relationship with Chelan Fresh and their growers, and to collaborate in nourishing schools and communities through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program,” Ragalie-Carr added. “The joint effort from Chelan Fresh and Fuel Up to Play 60 will provide more students across the country with access to nutritious meals that include under-consumed dairy foods and produce in a convenient, on-the-go setting, providing them the nourishment they need to help fuel greatness in their learning, growth, and development and play.”
How else will companies across our industry continue to come together to tackle pressing challenges such as food insecurity? AndNowUKnow will report as soon as we find out.