Feeding the world is a responsibility we take seriously. To us, that means providing affordable, accessible protein to our neighbors across town and around the world. So, when schools abruptly closed their doors earlier this year and moved to alternate meal service programs almost overnight, Tyson K-12 stepped in to help.
Tyson K-12 has a long-standing partnership with RealTime Solutions’ Cool School Cafe® program, an industry leading points-based program for food companies to add value, beyond just food, to schools across the U.S. Schools can earn Cool School Points to purchase needed equipment for their kitchens and staff.
Thanks to promotional programs that increased point value for Tyson products that schools were already purchasing, schools received an additional 2.34 million bonus points. Schools used their points to purchase critical items like meal containers, totes, and bags to pack food for curbside service, as well as water bottles, hats, and aprons for staff. These point-based purchases helped provide financial savings for districts when they needed it most.
“Cool School Cafe and our valued partners continue to be inspired by the dedication and efforts of the school nutrition professionals we support,” said Mary Keske, owner and president of RealTime Solutions. “Pouring hearts and energy into finding innovative ways to feed and focus on kids – it is more than a job; it is a calling. And we are humbled to come alongside and help.”
Additionally, Cool School Cafe and Tyson K-12 helped source items that districts needed to feed kids and keep staff and students safe, such as tents, masks, food storage containers, ponchos and food warmers. Many districts responded to those efforts saying they appreciated Tyson K-12 asking what they needed when needs were ever-growing and ever-changing.
“We know our school foodservice operators were thrown into a crazy world. But the things they do every single day to feed our kids across America do not go unnoticed,” said Gena Johnson Bumgarner, vice president of K-12 at Tyson Foods. “Our team at Tyson is here to be a partner for them. We are here to support and help find solutions. We are here to help serve their mission to keep kids fed.”
The Tyson K-12 efforts to serve schools across the U.S. is echoed in partnerships like Cool School Cafe.
“We are always appreciative of any ideas and feedback on how we can assist now and into the future,” said Keske. “We are thankful for the positive and lasting impact school foodservice operators make on the students and families they serve.”
“Yes!” Bumgarner agreed, “the real heroes are the men and women of our school foodservice programs who are tirelessly making a difference in our world with each child they feed.”