WOODBURY, N.Y., Jan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With a mission of providing healthy, nutritious meals to school children since its inception, E S Foods has worked closely with school districts and non-profit groups to develop innovative ways to feed more children and families. The tragic COVID-19 pandemic has put further focus on the ongoing need to expand outreach and provide healthy nutrition for the food insecure.
Whether it is feeding school children who are remote learning or families relying on food bank assistance, E S Foods has continued to innovate by developing 7-Day Meal Kits and combo food boxes for expanded outreach.
For example, E S Foods' expertise in providing kid-friendly, nutritious meals through school foodservice combined with their experience with food banks has led to the development of Home Prep Family Meal Kits that are now newly available to food banks. The boxes contain 16-18 meals. "What is unique is that each kit contains menus and recipes so that healthy, nutritious meals can be prepared for the entire family," explains Jeff Rowe, President of E S Foods. Some kits include fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to staples such as oatmeal, healthy beans and lentils.
"While the pandemic brought attention to the severity of food insecurity and childhood hunger in America, unfortunately it is not going to be resolved when the pandemic ends," says Rowe. "The focus on reducing hunger needs to remain strong and that is why we plan to do our part by extending our reach of kid-friendly and family-friendly nutrition. We need to meet hunger head-on by finding solutions to feed more meals to those in need."
Since the start of the pandemic, the federal government has provided waivers for universal school meals – free meals to all students regardless of income – as an effective means of reaching more children. Schools got creative distributing shelf-stable meals and individually wrapped foods as well as frozen and perishable items. Some districts have school "curbside pick-up" while others have arranged for school bus deliveries door-to-door. Rowe cites these as examples to carry forward.
For example, changes to the Children and Adult Care Food Programs (CACFP) have made it easier to implement Afterschool Meals. New waivers now allow organizations to provide up to 7 meals at one pick up. "This provided the impetus for our new 7 Day Meal Kits, so we can more efficiently get a week's worth of meals to families in need," explains Rowe. School districts are partnering with local Boys & Girls Clubs and Parks & Rec organizations to help distribute meals. "Like all of E S Foods' products, these meals are nutritious, kid-friendly and meet USDA guidelines."
"For years, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) has published a report titled Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation on the issue of our youths' nutritional needs during summer breaks – we must not lose sight of this," says E S Foods CEO and founder, Gary Davis. The company plans to continue providing convenient portable meals for distribution to schools during summer and school recess as well as boxed meals for food banks, and individual meal varieties for colleges. "We plan to continue to help fill this need in 2021 and beyond – by addressing hunger and food insecurity one healthy meal at a time."
A leader in school foodservice for over twenty years, E S Foods today serves all foodservice channels with over 100 products that comprise their product categories of shelf-stable, frozen entrees, heat & serve, smart snacks and protein innovations. For more information, visit www.esfoods.com.