Feeding hungry kids has long been part of Nutra Blend’s mission. Its Drive to Feed Kids™ initiative has raised more than $5 million since its inception in 2014. When the coronavirus pandemic began to sweep across the U.S., resulting in lost wages and reduced access to food, Nutra Blend jumped into action.
Nutra Blend, along with nine of its suppliers and nearly 200 customers, rallied together to donate over $500,000 through a special effort they called Food for Hope, a Drive to Feed Kids™ Campaign. These funds were used to support food banks and backpack programs in the local communities of its nearly 200 participating customers.
“We saw what was happening in the world back in April and decided to leverage our existing Drive to Feed Kids™ program which partners with local communities to fill backpacks of food for kids,” says Kevin Schluender, General Manager, Nutra Blend. “We wanted to help make a positive impact and address a critical need in communities across the country.”
Nutra Blend’s key suppliers and customers were all-in -- and in fact, they are the secret to the success of the long-running Drive to Feed Kids™ initiative. They know their communities best, understand the unique challenges they face and know which nonprofits to partner with.
“When we put out the call to participate, our partners immediately said, ‘yes! It’s a no-brainer.’ I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish by working together,” says Randy Shanks, VP of Sales, Nutra Blend. “Our customers and suppliers are incredible.”
The impact of Food for Hope has been felt across the U.S, from California to Vermont.
Here’s just one example of how these funds were used:
Nicole Howrigan, Grady’s Golden Goodness, reported back on how her program used the Feed for Hope funds:
Sent free cheese to all students in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties
Sent more than 2,500 coupons for a free gallon of milk to local families
Gave 150 pounds of butter to Fairfield families through a pop-up shop that the volunteer fire department put together
“Plus, we paid for a few orders of families who are experiencing some food insecurity right now. We are able to support our farmers as well as feed families in our community because of your support! Thank you so very much.”
Nutra Blend is a leading animal nutrition premix manufacturing and distribution company, with locations in Missouri, Vermont and California. It has served the industry since 1975 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, Inc. in 2000. Fighting hunger is a shared value of Nutra Blend and Land O’Lakes, Inc., which donates a portion of its pretax profits to the Land O’Lakes Foundation, which works to fight hunger, support education and strengthen communities.