Bringing More Than a Hot Meal

How the Hormel® Compleats® brand & Meals on Wheels are fighting senior hunger
Nov 20, 2017 9:30 AM ET

Inspired | Stories from Hormel Foods

By Rick Williamson

Jason Baskin knows a thing or two about quick, tasty and easy meals. Baskin is the senior brand manager for Hormel® Compleats® microwave meals and has spent the last four years making sure the brand delivers a satisfying and convenient meal in 60 seconds.

“Our brand is the go-to solution for people who want an easy meal that’s tasty and satisfying.”

What he and his team found, however, is that there is another population that sees the Hormel® Compleats® products as so much more.

“We kept hearing about how these products were helping older adults stay independent and remain in their homes. We’d receive incredibly moving stories from this population and their kids and grandkids about how Hormel® Compleats® products were one of the few ‘real meals’ they could prepare for themselves.”

So for Baskin and his team, partnering with Meals on Wheels America became a way to make a difference.

“For millions of Americans, Meals on Wheels is literally the difference between remaining in their own homes or needing to relocate to a nursing facility,” according to Ellie Hollander, President and CEO at Meals on Wheels America.

“Meals on Wheels serves as a lifeline to millions of homebound individuals, supporting not only their nutritional needs, but also their connectedness to others. The Hormel® Compleats® partnership will advance our national efforts to ensure that no senior is hungry, alone or forgotten, while also donating Hormel® Compleats® products to local communities.”

The partnership includes a $100,000 financial commitment from the Hormel® Compleats® brand, which also provided product and coupons for the Kissimmee, Florida, and San Antonio, Texas, markets.

Serving Seniors

In October, Baskin and fellow Hormel Foods team member Stephanie Postma traveled to San Antonio to deliver meals to seniors in the area with the local Meals on Wheels program and Texas grocery chain H-E-B. A total of 3,172 clients received a shelf-stable Hormel® Compleats® microwave meal as a “weekend meal” in addition to their regular hot meal, with Hormel Foods and H-E-B team members dropping by and saying hello to many homebound seniors.

“It was incredible to see just how thankful people were,” Baskin added. “The folks we visited and delivered meal kits to were very appreciative, and a few commented that they couldn’t wait to eat their Hormel® Compleats® meal. It really inspired me and it was humbling to think that something this team works on every day means so much to so many.”

In Kissimmee, Hormel® Compleats® brand team member Sam Balaski worked with the local Meals on Wheels team at the Osceola Council on Aging. After packing several hundred meals for the Meals on Wheels program, they visited a local senior congregate site for an “Octoberfest” party with Hormel®Compleats® microwave meals-themed BINGO and handed out more than 200 servings of Hormel® Compleats® microwave meals and coupons.

“We’re extremely proud to partner with Meals on Wheels America to help fight hunger,” said Baskin. “Meals on Wheels delivers warm, nutritious meals to homebound individuals, and the Hormel® Compleats® brand can aid in that effort by providing an easy and satisfying meal for occasions like evenings and weekends when seniors need to prepare a meal themselves.”