Hurricane Harvey Holiday Meal
Hormel Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store help those in need
By Kelly Braaten
With the aroma of turkey, ham and all the fixings in the air, and music playing in the background, volunteers served a holiday meal for more than 1,000 people affected by Hurricane Harvey at Celebration of Life Church in Baytown, Texas.
“Hurricane Harvey was one of the biggest disasters we’ve seen in recent years,” said Stacy Lamb, U.S. response director of disaster services at Convoy of Hope. “People’s lives have been turned upside down. They are still trying to figure out how to get their homes back in shape and back to normal, and then you have the holiday season.”
When Hormel Foods learned about the holiday meal that was being planned, the company donated over 700 Hormel® Cure 81® hams and its Jennie-O Turkey Store subsidiary donated over 700 turkeys. Convoy of Hope helped prepare the meal and distributed the remainder of the hams and turkeys to attendees to take home and to other churches in the area to help with their holiday meals.
“Getting donations from Hormel Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store was huge because that meant we could bless that many more families with a holiday meal,” Lamb said. “We are very appreciative of Hormel Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store for coming down and assisting with the meal.”
Supporting disaster relief
Hormel Foods provides food donations to organizations such as Feeding America and Convoy of Hope for hunger-relief efforts. The company has been a supporter of Feeding America since the 1970s and began working with Convoy of Hope around four years ago. In the beginning of the partnership with Convoy of Hope, the company helped support its events in communities across the country to provide groceries and other services such as haircuts and dental screenings. The partnership quickly expanded to include disaster-relief efforts.
In early 2017, Hormel Foods helped stock Convoy of Hope’s warehouse with shelf-stable protein products that could be deployed quickly to help with disaster-response efforts. Convoy of Hope responded to Hurricane Harvey Aug. 25 and began distributing much-needed protein and other supplies immediately.
It has been a busy year for the organization, which has also responded to the natural disasters in Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico and California. To provide additional support, the company’s Applegate and CytoSport subsidiaries also donated products, and Hormel Foods provided a monetary donation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the recent natural disasters and those in need this holiday season,” said Stephanie Postma, Hormel® Cure 81® ham brand manager at Hormel Foods. “We were touched to be able to be part of such a special event.”
In addition to the meal, there were activities for kids and musical performances – even one from Mandisa, an American gospel and contemporary Christian recording artist and former “American Idol” contestant.
“When we heard about this event to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey and others in need, we knew we wanted to help,” said Brent Koosmann, director of marketing at Jennie-O Turkey Store. “We were honored to provide the turkeys for this event.”
According to Postma, who helped serve the meal, attendees were extremely grateful, and it was nothing but a steady stream of smiles through the receiving line.
“Everybody we’ve worked with is very thankful for Convoy and others who have been able to come to the area and help them get through this tragic event,” Lamb said. “It is why we do what we do at Convoy of Hope, and why I do what I do personally.”
Hormel Foods is committed to doing its part to help others and is in the process of making another donation to help stock Convoy of Hope’s warehouse for additional disaster-relief efforts.