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A Weekend Without Food? Unacceptable, says Applegate

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Natural and organic meat pioneer donates 5,000 packages of breakfast sausage directly to Pine Ridge schools to help fill protein gap for kids

This week, natural and organic meat company Applegate kicks off its partnership with hunger relief and youth empowerment organization Conscious Alliance, with an inaugural donation of 5,000 packages of natural, protein-rich breakfast sausage to be delivered to school children on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota on Thursday.

The frozen Applegate breakfast sausage will provide more than 7,000 meals for kids this winter.  When asked about the number one thing her students are in need of most, Principal Alicia Stolley of Wolf Creek School on Pine Ridge has a two-word answer, but one without a simple solution given the physical and economic isolation of the reservation: nutritious meat.

Applegate steps up to provide much-needed healthy protein for Pine Ridge children as they enter the cold winter months – and weekend after weekend is often filled with hunger pangs and no food for relief. Feeding America has identified the weekend as a time that children are most at risk for missing meals or not receiving meals that are rich in vitamins and protein.

The 13 pallets of product were loaded onto a semi-truck on Monday to make the journey to Pine Ridge, where they will be distributed on Thursday by Conscious Alliance staff to approximately students at six different schools.  Food insecurity is a major problem on the Pine Ridge Reservation, which has the lowest per capita income in the country and only a single grocery store in a geographic area the size of Connecticut. The infrastructure provided by Conscious Alliance in tandem with donations from its brand partners allows for large-scale food deliveries to this food desert with third-world living conditions inside of the United States.

Although 100 percent of this Applegate donation will go to schools on Pine Ridge, Conscious Alliance and its partners continue to work with a number of other schools – on reservations, in the nonprofit’s headquarter city of Boulder, Colo. and nearby Denver, and nationwide – to provide much-needed nutritious food for children. Between May and September of 2018, Conscious Alliance distributed XX meals directly through schools nationwide to children dealing with food insecurity at home.

By delivering food to students through their elementary, middle and high schools, Conscious Alliance is not only able to help feed the kids, but foster a sense of community between parents and schools.

“When we are able to send food home with our students over the weekend, we have parents coming back to us and thanking us for supporting them and their children,” said Melody Bohlender, Principal at Batesland School on Pine Ridge Reservation. “Though the food is coming to us through Conscious Alliance, the parents see direct support from our school, which helps us build a consistent and trusting relationship with our community.”

Partnering together for over a decade, Conscious Alliance and organic nut butter leader Justin’s have grown their relationship and expanded it to include Justin’s parent company Hormel with a recent volunteer trip to Pine Ridge Reservation, and other brands in the Hormel portfolio, including Applegate.

In November, Conscious Alliance will host its annual holiday meal delivery to Pine Ridge and Lame Deer reservations, but will expand this year to provide meals and funds beyond these reservations to other schools and children in need across the country.

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