Thursday, September 21, 2023

Jennie-O Turkey Store and Chef Carla Hall honor school cafeteria staff

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WILLMAR, Minn. — The makers of the Jennie-O® turkey brand announced a partnership in October with esteemed chef, cookbook author and beloved TV personality Carla Hall. As part of this partnership, the Jennie-O team and Hall visit schools across the nation to honor school cafeteria staff by hosting School Cafeteria Takeovers.

The campaign kicked off in Knoxville, Tenn., at Blue Grass Elementary School in October, then headed to Panorama High School in Los Angeles, Calif., in November. In February, the team recognized the unsung heroes of the school cafeteria staff at Houston’s Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, which is part of the Houston Independent School District.

“I have been having an incredible time with Jennie-O, together honoring cafeteria staff across the nation — first in Knoxville, then Los Angeles, and now in lovely Houston,” Hall said. “Cafeteria staff are truly the unsung heroes of our schools. They do so much for our kids – from feeding them to putting smiles on their faces. And we know how vital it is for our kids to have proper nutrition and good protein to help sustain them through their studies, sports, activities and more.”

Hall and the Jennie-O culinary team worked together to develop a grazing table featuring Jennie-O turkey for the school cafeteria staff to enjoy. During the event, Hall led a baking tutorial of her famous biscuits with school cafeteria staff. She also learned a few phrases in Mandarin, taught by MIMS students. Additionally, Jennie-O brought in local businesses to offer refreshments and relaxing amenities for school cafeteria heroes, including chair massages. Finally, staff received heartfelt notes of gratitude from the student body.

As part of the School Cafeteria Takeovers program with Hall, the makers of the Jennie-O brand will provide $25,000 in kitchen equipment to four additional schools throughout the Spring to help fulfill wish lists for cafeterias in need of new equipment and supplies.

“In the short time I have been at MIMS, I have seen how hard our cafeteria staff works each and every day to make sure our students are fed with nutritional food, so they are ready to learn,” said Principal Cindy Tiet of the Mandarin Immersion Magnet School. “They serve our students with smiles on their faces and love through their cooking! We are so thankful to Chef Carla Hall and Jennie-O brand for the opportunity to show our gratitude and appreciation by being able to serve and pamper them!”

“It has been incredible to see how touched the cafeteria staff have been through our School Cafeteria Takeover programs,” said Renee Cool, brand manager at Jennie-O Turkey Store. “Working with Chef Carla to honor them by letting them kick up their feet, being served a delicious Jennie-O turkey meal and feeling gratitude from the students has been so special.”

The Jennie-O brand team and Hall will continue the tour in Detroit in May.

Jennie-O added that it is the leading turkey provider to school districts in the United States. Among its highlights include:

  • Jennie-O is the leading turkey provider in 9 of the top 10 school districts in the nation.
  • Jennie-O serves more than 5,000 school districts in the U.S.
  • Jennie-O has the largest variety of K-12 turkey products in America.
  • The Jennie-O sales team has more than 100 years of combined experience in servicing K-12.
  • 90 percent of USDA-donated turkey is processed by Jennie-O.

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