As the number of food-insecure Americans escalates from 1 in 8 last year to 1 in 6 in 2020, Edlong has joined nearly a dozen other food and beverage companies and Bigger Table – the nonprofit arm of Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network – to create and distribute over 200,000 flavorful, high-protein, low-sugar chocolate meal replacement mix packets to those in need.
“Addressing food insecurity has never been more critically important than it is right now,” said Laurette Rondenet, President and CEO of Edlong, which provided the Natural Milk Flavor that enhances the creamy texture of the chocolate mix. “We are proud and humbled to be able to partner with like-minded companies as we further deepen Edlong’s commitment to help nourish our neighbors in need.”
Each partner company behind the effort donated time, services, know-how, ingredients, flavors, and skills throughout the product development process. With an estimated retail value of $3 per packet, over $600,000 worth of product is being distributed via local food banks through a donation of nearly 20,000 pounds of ingredients, as well as packaging, recipe creation, manufacturing time, food safety plans, and more.
The beverage mix follows the pilot launch of 10,000 packets of high-protein Hot Cocoa Mix last February, which were donated to Chicago’s food insecure via a similar partnership with Bigger Table. With Edlong providing the Natural Milk dairy flavoring for this most recent chocolate-flavored protein meal replacement mix, others contributing to the initiative include Bader Rutter, Blueshoon, Coyle Print Group, ConnectFood, Dairy Farmers of America, FONA International, Imbibe, Lithotype Co., Olam Cocoa, Proven Partners Group, and Sweetener Supply.
“Ultimately, doing good feeds us all,” added Rondenet.