A Weekend Without Food Unacceptable, Says Applegate

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Natural and organic meat pioneer donates 5,000 packages of breakfast sausage to Pine Ridge schools with Conscious Alliance to help fill protein gap for kids

Pine Ridge students

Students at Pine Ridge Reservation schools will receive natural breakfast sausage from Applegate to help fight weekend hunger. (photo courtesy Hormel Foods)

Applegate is in a unique position to make a real difference with one of the biggest problems in food insecurity – protein – and we’re so honored to be able to help.

This week, natural and organic meat company Applegate kicks off its partnership with hunger relief and youth empowerment organization Conscious Alliance, with an inaugural donation of 5,000 packages of natural breakfast sausage to be delivered to school children on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota on Thursday.

The frozen Applegate Naturals® Peppered Turkey Breakfast Sausage will provide more than 7,000 meals for kids this winter. When asked about the number one thing her students are in need of most, Principal Alicia Stolley of Wolf Creek School on Pine Ridge has a two-word answer, but one without a simple solution given the physical and economic isolation of the reservation: nutritious meat.

As an independent subsidiary of Hormel Foods, Applegate is joining its parent company Hormel Foods and its sister company Justin’s, to provide much-needed nutritious protein for Pine Ridge children as they enter the cold winter months – and weekend after weekend is often filled with hunger pangs and no food for relief. Feeding America has identified the weekend as a time that children are most at risk for missing meals or not receiving meals that are rich in vitamins and protein.

“When Justin Gold, the founder of Justin’s, told us about his company’s partnership with Conscious Alliance, we knew right away we wanted to be part of it,” said Nicole Glenn, vice president of marketing at Applegate. “Applegate is in a unique position to make a real difference with one of the biggest problems in food insecurity – protein – and we’re so honored to be able to help.”

The 13 pallets of product were loaded onto a semi-truck on Monday to make the journey to Pine Ridge, where they will be distributed on Thursday by Conscious Alliance staff to students at six different schools. Food insecurity is a major problem on the Pine Ridge Reservation, which has the lowest per capita income in the country and only a single grocery store in a geographic area the size of Connecticut. The infrastructure provided by Conscious Alliance in tandem with donations from its brand partners allows for large-scale food deliveries to this food desert with third-world living conditions inside the United States.

Although 100 percent of this Applegate donation will go to schools on Pine Ridge, Conscious Alliance and its partners continue to work with a number of other schools – on reservations, in the nonprofit’s headquarter city of Boulder, Colo. and nearby Denver, and nationwide – to provide much-needed nutritious food for children. Between January and September of 2018, Conscious Alliance distributed over 363,000 meals through schools nationwide to children dealing with food insecurity at home.

By delivering food to students through their elementary, middle and high schools, Conscious Alliance is not only able to help feed the kids, but foster a sense of community between parents and schools.

“When we are able to send food home with our students over the weekend, we have parents coming back to us and thanking us for supporting them and their children,” said Melody Bohlender, Principal at Batesland School on Pine Ridge Reservation. “Though the food is coming to us through Conscious Alliance, the parents see direct support from our school, which helps us build a consistent and trusting relationship with our community.”

Partnering together for over a decade, Conscious Alliance and Justin’s have grown their relationship and expanded it to include Justin’s parent company Hormel Foods, (including a recent volunteer trip to Pine Ridge Reservation), and other brands in the Hormel Foods portfolio, including Applegate.

In November, Conscious Alliance will host its annual holiday meal delivery to Pine Ridge and Lame Deer reservations, and Justin’s will join them for the 10th year in a row. Conscious Alliance will expand this year to provide meals and funds beyond these reservations to other schools and children in need across the country. For more information visit http://www.consciousalliance.org.

About Applegate
Founded in 1987, Applegate produces high-quality natural and organic hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, cheese and frozen products. Our products are made without GMO ingredients, and we source from farms where animals are treated with care and respect and are allowed to grow at their natural rate, all part of our mission – Changing The Meat We Eat®. Natural can mean many things, but to Applegate natural means our food is:

  • From animals raised humanely without antibiotics, hormones or growth promotants
  • From animals fed a vegetarian or pasture-centered diet (our beef is 100 percent grass-fed)
  • Free of added chemical nitrites, nitrates or phosphates
  • Free of artificial ingredients or preservatives

Applegate became a stand-alone subsidiary of Hormel Foods in July 2015. For more information about our products, visit http://www.applegate.com or talk with us on http://www.facebook.com/applegate or twitter.com/Applegate.

About Conscious Alliance
Conscious Alliance, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, supports communities in crisis. Based in Boulder, Colo., Conscious Alliance operates through a three-tier approach: emergency food relief to communities across the United States; empowerment programs for youth in impoverished regions of the country; and nutrition, exercise and gardening education for youth in economically isolated Native American reservations. Conscious Alliance operates ongoing food collection and hunger awareness programs by organizing food drives at concerts and music events. The donations collected benefit local food pantries nationwide and economically isolated Native American reservations. Conscious Alliance works with myriad companies and organizations to further its mission of providing life changing and life enhancing programs to the communities they serve. For more information visit consciousalliance.org.

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Emily Smith