MINNEAPOLIS (July 12, 2019)—Food waste is a growing problem in the U.S., with 40 percent of food thrown away resulting in 63 million tons of food wasted each year¹. General Mills Foodservice and Feeding America® want to change that and invite K-12 schools nationwide to join them in an effort to redirect excess food from school meal programs to feed the hungry in their own communities. The two organizations will share information about MealConnect™, a technology platform that links food donations to local food shelves, at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference (ANC) taking place in St. Louis, July 15-16.
Feeding America, the largest food rescue and domestic hunger-relief organization, will be onsite at General Mills’ ANC booth (#2081) to demonstrate how school foodservice programs can use the MealConnect app to facilitate easy collection of surplus food and share it with a local food pantry or food program. MealConnect is free to use and all donations are tax-deductible.
“Many schools are already making strides to curb food waste in their districts with things like share carts or compost programs, but we want to offer another tool to rescue food and fight hunger—another critical issue facing school communities,” said Jasmine Scott, associate K-12 marketing manager, General Mills Convenience & Foodservice. “Feeding America’s MealConnect makes it easier than ever for schools to donate food in a safe and efficient manner, while making an immediate impact to help families facing hunger in their own backyard.”
How MealConnect works:
- MealConnect is available to donors from any smartphone, tablet or computer.
- The platform helps donors list food that may otherwise go to waste and directs the rescued food to a Feeding America food bank or food pantry to help people in need.
- An algorithm determines the best-suited local pantry or food program to quickly pick up and distribute the donation.
“We know that food waste is a challenging issue for schools but it is also an opportunity to showcase the power of the K-12 school community, which represents a huge sector of the foodservice industry, to make a difference and be part of the solution,” said Scott. “General Mills is committed to helping school foodservice professionals ‘make good and do good’ in their district, from offering the products and foods that kids love to eat to empowering them to create a positive environment.”
General Mills Foodservice offers a number of resources to help schools promote their school feeding program and to shine the spotlight on the hard work they do everyday in their schools and communities. The #GoodStartsHere campaign includes weekly tips, recipe inspiration, parent communication tools, education and more. For more information, visit www.GeneralMillscf.com.
For more information on MealConnect, visit www.MealConnect.org.
About General Mills Convenience & Foodservice
The General Mills Convenience & Foodservice division serves the convenience, foodservice and bakery industries by providing quality products from time-trusted brands along with culinary, nutrition education and marketing resources to help operators succeed. Its distinguished brand portfolio includes Big G Cereals, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Chex Mix, Bugles, Gardetto’s and Annie’s. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, the division had fiscal 2018 net sales of $1.93 billion. For more information, please visit www.generalmillscf.com.
General Mills Convenience & Foodservice
¹Boyer Sudduth Environmental Consultants. 2018. Turning Food Waste into Food Recovery at School; https://boyersudduth.com/articles/leaders-needed-turning-food-waste-into-food-recover-at-school