By: Marc Schulman, President of Eli's Cheesecake
For 35 years, Chicago has had the unique distinction of having the premiere public high school in the country dedicated to developing future leaders in food science, animal science, horticulture, agricultural economics, biotechnology and agricultural mechanics. The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences is located on what was the last working farm in the Mt. Greenwood Neighborhood with a 72 acre campus that includes a land laboratory, a barn, animals and a new riding center.
From its founding, the School has been fortunate to have the support of the business community and institutions of higher education through its Business Advisory Board. As the Food and related industries in Chicago and nationally have grown, the need for a better trained and motivated work force makes the graduates so important as student go onto to Land Grant and other top programs.
The Class of 2020 is one of the best in the history of the School. Regrettably, they missed out on so many of the senior traditions including the Flower & Garden Show, the FFA Banquet, Prom and Graduation.
The School is seeking your support for our virtual awarding of Scholarships to Graduates in the Class of 2020. We are seeking donations of $500, $1000, $2,500, $5,000 or any amount that will be given 100% to scholarships. You have the opportunity to name a Scholarship for your organization or to honor an individual. By May 29th, we would ask you for your scholarship commitment and if the School can select the awardee or if you would like to designate the scholarship for a certain University, program or other criteria.
Checks should be sent to “Friends of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences” and sent to 3857 W. 111th Street, Chicago Illinois 60655 Attn: William Hook, Principal. For any questions, you can contact William Hook at firstname.lastname@example.org 773-535-2696 or Sheila Fowler, Assistant Principal at SRFowler@cps.edu 773-535-2938.
From Elise Tresley, CEO/Co-Founder of mēle:
When COVID-19 first turned the world upside down, we were following the headlines and reading the news like everyone else. It was heavy and dire. The future felt uncertain—it still does. But we decided this wasn’t a time to pull back, this was a time to step-up. Once we made sure our team was healthy and safe, we asked ourselves how we could help.
If you aren’t familiar with mēle, we’re a wellness food company that offers no-prep, fully-balanced smoothies made of freeze-dried fruits, veggies, nuts, and protein. A number of our customers happen to be doctors and nurses. With these customers in mind, we reached out to our community and asked one question: "do you work at a hospital that we can help?" What came next started with a single reply from a Resident at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx—a note that soon became one of many we’d receive.
"Our resident physicians sometimes work > 24 hour shifts. They aren't able to prepare food. For example, we currently have 30 patients on the ventilator in one unit — staffed only by 4 people. There is not even time for bathroom breaks — patients are dying, transferred in, requiring push medications. It's madness. We would be so grateful for food & beverage donations. Please help our staff eat and stay nourished!" - Resident | Lincoln Memorial | Bronx, NY
We started reaching out to hospital directors to coordinate donations and what we discovered was worse than what was in the news at the time. Not only were hospitals dangerously short on COVID-19 supplies, but with cafeterias closed and supply chains disrupted, they were running out of both basic foodservice equipment and meals for their doctors, nurses, and first responders. A Hospital Director in New York quantified it: we can only get 10% of our normal supply. We’re short on COVID needs, we’re short on foodservice equipment, we’re short on food for our staff. This wasn’t just happening in NY—it was a problem across the country.
Our team at mēle quickly got to work and formed a task force to address these problems. We connected hospitals to companies in our network providing vetted COVID-19 supplies. We cold emailed restaurant manufacturers to find alternatives to foodservice equipment shortages at the hospitals. And we began donating mēle—both through #FoundersGive for the NY hospitals where COVID cases were mounting and then directly to hospitals in other states.
We’ve been donating as much mēle as we can. But we wanted to do something bigger—something that would amplify our donation efforts and involve our community. We launched SPONSOR A MĒLE in April. The idea is simple: sponsor a $5 mēle that will go to a doctor, nurse, or first responder on the front lines. For every mēle (meal) sponsored, we give another. Here’s a few more of the many messages we’re receiving from the front lines on why it matters:
“All staff in the COVID ICU are finding little time at all to break—not eating for over 12 hours is rough. Thank you so much for trying to make a difference, every little bit helps. Truly.” - ICU RN | St. Vincent | Toledo, OH
"“Meals and snacks support our morale as we go through something we have never faced before.” - Pediatric Resident | Penn State Hershey Medical | Hershey, PA
“Breaks for nourishment are vital and having a quick nourishing snack is a great boost.” - Critical Care Nurse Practitioner | Mass General Hospital | Boston, MA
This is our reality right now—and it’s the time to act. Although we’re starting to see signs of the curve flattening, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Our inbound volume of requests has gone up, not down. With that, I’m asking for your help. Consider taking 10 seconds today to sponsor a mēle. Over the past few days, we’ve donated to Georgetown University Hospital in D.C., Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and Lincoln Hospital in NY, among others (more to follow). We promise to keep you updated on where your donations are going and who they are helping. Our team can't thank you enough for your support. We’re far from done, so please keep it coming.
In case you missed it!
On May 11th, 2020, the CFBN in partnership with Bader Rutter’s Intel Distillery hosted our weekly open discussion "Bader Rutter Monday's @ 11" on the top news stories and breaking headlines impacting food production.
We got to hear insights from Bader Rutter staff that have tracked the top stories from the most influential voices in the business. From farm fields to consumer plates, the Chicago-based team has diligently categorized and catalogued everything important in food, beverage and agriculture to outline a clear picture of what's happening and who's driving the conversations on our industry.
This week in industry news, Bader Rutter highlighted:
Access the full episode here!
The Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network would love to thank the Bader Rutter team for sharing their insights:
Thank you to everyone who virtually attended. Stay updated on our upcoming virtual events here.
Members can access the presentations shared in your Member Perks.
The “Bader Rutter Monday’s @ 11” is a new, FREE, weekly virtual event series brought to you by CFBN.
On May 7th, 2020, the CFBN in partnership with CA Fortune hosted “Founders Series: Shoppable Content" led by expert Steve Gaither, Chief Marketing Officer of CA Fortune. This was a virtual conversation geared towards guiding our industry in the right direction and sharing insights on how to drive consumer engagement during these challenging times.
Steve Gaither guided us through how brands can pivot to quickly drive shoppable content through multiple channels. Breaking it down in 3 categories:
Access the entire virtual event recording here.
This event is being presented as part of the Founders Series, produced in partnership with CA Fortune.
On May 4th, 2020, the CFBN in partnership with Bader Rutter’s Intel Distillery hosted our weekly open discussion "Bader Rutter Monday's @ 11" on the top news stories and breaking headlines impacting food production.
It has been a busy last week in industry news. Bader Rutter covered and answered questions on all of the highlights including farmers' views on planting season, the delicate balance between safety and production, and thoughts on a shift back to nutrition. They also covered three hot topics:
Daily changes in the meat industry including new guidance from the CDC for meat plants and their employees, the president issuing deeming meat plants as an essential business giving them power to stay open, and how some retailers are addressing the meat shortage with limiting purchasing to customers.
Chefs are still pushing back on opening although some cities are opening up citing safety of employees and lower customer volume issues. PPP funds were refreshed giving some hope to businesses.
Many big businesses began to release their Quarter 1 earnings giving us a better understanding of current trends with Dominoes, McDonalds, and others.
CHICAGO, May 5, 2020—ADM (NYSE: ADM) announced today an additional $800,000 in donations to organizations focused on addressing needs during COVID-19, including food assistance, hunger relief, and local support to hospitals and first responders.
“These are unprecedented times, and ADM is committed to doing our part to help address the tremendous need around the world right now,” said Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano. “We are proud to take part in Giving Tuesday’s efforts to unite companies, individuals and communities around the world to tackle the great challenges brought on by the global fight against COVID-19.”
The $800,000 in total contributions are in addition to more than $1M previously committed to COVID-related relief efforts, and are directed to various local organizations with a direct impact in communities and regions where ADM has a large presence. For example, in ADM’s global headquarters base in Chicago, the company is focusing on food scarcity issues through partnerships with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Lawrence Hall, The Bigger Table and The Trotter Project. ADM is also providing funds to support a partnership with Rutgers to advance virus mitigation research and medical support in parts of Europe, Asia Pacific and South America.
The donations were given through ADM Cares. ADM Cares helps sustain and strengthen communities where ADM colleagues work, live and operate by directing funding, volunteerism, and industry knowledge to initiatives and organizations that drive meaningful social, economic and environmental progress worldwide. ADM Cares focuses its efforts primarily in three areas: Advancing Sustainable Agriculture; Increasing Food Security; and Investing in Education.
At ADM, we unlock the power of nature to provide access to nutrition worldwide. With industry-advancing innovations, a complete portfolio of ingredients and solutions to meet any taste, and a commitment to sustainability, we give customers an edge in solving the nutritional challenges of today and tomorrow. We’re a global leader in human and animal nutrition and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company. Our breadth, depth, insights, facilities and logistical expertise give us unparalleled capabilities to meet needs for food, beverages, health and wellness, and more. From the seed of the idea to the outcome of the solution, we enrich the quality of life the world over. Learn more at www.adm.com.
ADM Media Relations, Jackie Anderson, email@example.com (312-634-8484)
"Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) researchers have reallocated university lab resources with the aim of being able to produce 13,000 tubes of VTM (viral transport medium) per week, the critical substance in the COVID-19 testing tubes that preserves sample swabs until testing, for the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Governor J. B. Pritzker announced the partnership with Illinois Tech, as well as other universities, at his Thursday press briefing. Over the last month, Pritzker said it had been difficult for state labs to obtain the VTM tubes and swabs, threatening the testing supply chain.
“Our university partners of Illinois Tech, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and the University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, as well as outside vendors, have committed collectively to providing us with enough VTM and swabs that we can not only stock our state labs, but support additional labs throughout the state. This means even more specimens being taken for testing,” Pritzker said Thursday.
“Illinois Tech is honored to partner with the state of Illinois to help with this critical mission of COVID-19 testing,” said Illinois Tech President Alan W. Cramb. “We have special expertise and unique facilities that allow us to answer our state’s call by quickly coming together to mobilize our labs for the greater good.” Read more here.
The Research Chefs Association (RCA) is pleased to offer a special discount for its upcoming “RCA Powered Up” virtual education series, running from May 20 to June 17. All Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network members can receive $100 discount off the non-member registration fee by using code CFBN100.
Just visit the RCA Powered Up page and click on the “Register Now” icon and follow the instructions for your discount.
RCA Powered Up is a four week program featuring webinars covering a diverse collection of subjects – including a few relevant to the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. Sessions include presentations from Amy Alarcon and Nick Pajor from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Mike Kostyo from Datassential, TJ Chatterjee from Griffith Foods, Chef Francisco Migoya from Modernist Cuisine, and so much more.
Be sure to visit the RCA Powered Up page and use discount code CFBN100 for $100 off the non-RCA member registration.
The 2020 KeHE Holiday Show has been transformed into a digital marketplace, now called Holidays of Hope. Each year, KeHE’s physical trade shows bring together thousands of industry professionals to connect and sample natural & organic, fresh and specialty products. This year’s first-ever virtual Holidays of Hope show will enable retailers and suppliers to continue to negotiate and discuss promotional deals, as they would in a physical trade show. The platform also gives participating retailers the opportunity to discover product attributes, place orders, explore exclusive products, and access curated trend education webinars.
Holidays of Hope was designed to ensure the safety of KeHE’s community while supporting supplier and retailer partners with a digital (fourth quarter) marketplace. To help alleviate the impact of COVID-19, KeHE has waived the participation fees and is encouraging suppliers and retailers to donate to KeHE Cares®. All donations will be used to provide financial support and assistance to communities ravaged by the impact of COVID-19. The show has raised over $100,000 in donations and will continue to accept contributions until June 15. To learn more about KeHE’s invite-only show or how you can make a donation, visit here.
On April 27th, 2020, the CFBN in partnership with Bader Rutter’s Intel Distillery hosted our weekly open discussion "Bader Rutter Monday's @ 11" on the top news stories and breaking headlines impacting food production.
This week's Monday at 11 looked at the industry's three R's of COVID-19: Relief, Reopening, and Reconsideration. These R's will become more prevalent in the upcoming weeks as restaurants open in Georgia on Monday. Our panel discussed milk and dairy sales increasing as a trend. When asked what is the driver for these increased sales, CFBN's own Alan Reed highlighted, "When you're home and cooking more at home, fluid milk, flour, and eggs becomes a hot product."
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
1 W Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel (312) 525-9653