HERSHEY, PA, US – Cocoa Packs, a Hershey-based non-profit organization serving more than 1,400 food-insecure children year-round, through partnerships with local school districts, has announced a new partnership with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (HE&R) through its Cocoa Packs Food Rescue program.
According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 62% of the 34,000 Dauphin County children who will head back to public schools this fall are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and experience some level of food insecurity.
By partnering with the culinary teams across HE&R food-service operations including Hershey Lodge, The Hotel Hershey, Hersheypark Entertainment Complex, Hershey Country Club, and more, Cocoa Packs Food Rescue is now receiving fresh surplus food from the organization’s dining outlets. All food donated will directly benefit the children enrolled in Cocoa Packs each week and establishes an unprecedented food recovery partnership in the Hershey area.
Cocoa Packs Founder and President Christine Drexler stated, “We are incredibly grateful for our continued partnership with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, who have continuously supported us since day one. Their extraordinary generosity through this venture with Cocoa Packs Food Rescue is truly a game-changer for us and will definitely impact our ability to assist additional children. Thanks to this partnership, we are able to add new healthy fresh food options to our weekly Cocoa Packs. Not only is this a better option for the children, but it also benefits the organization by reducing overall pack costs. We will also be able to enhance our educational offerings by providing recipes and other helpful information. When we intentionally lead with LOVE and compassion for one another a lifelong impact is made.”
Food rescue is extremely effective because it simultaneously helps get food to those who need it most, reduces food waste, and serves as an opportunity for local food service providers in the area to partner with Cocoa Packs.
“HE&R is proud to continue to live by the example set by our founder, Milton S. Hershey, in giving back to the community and helping children in need,” said Kathleen McGraw, Director of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at HE&R. “Through the efforts of our extraordinary culinary teams, we are thrilled to partner with Cocoa Packs to bring nutritious and delicious food to children experiencing food insecurities. A special thank you to our team members and volunteers for assisting with this important initiative.”
Through a partnership with Food Rescue US, Cocoa Packs is helping to lead the way in Central PA by delivering a streamlined simple solution for connecting healthy, usable surplus food from restaurant partners to meet critical demand through the use of the simple, innovative, and efficient technology developed by Food Rescue US, which facilitates the direct transfer model for food rescue. For more information, visit https://cocoapacks.org/rescue.
Cocoa Packs is a non-profit organization based in Hershey, PA providing supplemental food assistance to food insecure children in Central PA through the distribution of weekly food packs containing 27-30 items along with fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, and eggs. In addition to the food assistance, Cocoa Packs also leads with love by providing additional wraparound services that help to enhance a child’s overall wellness such as clothing, advocacy, educational opportunities, and more. With a vision of a world where all children have what they need to succeed, Cocoa Packs currently assists more than 1400 enrolled children through a year-round weekly distribution. For more information, visit www.CocoaPacks.org.
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) is a world-class entertainment and hospitality company dedicated to preserving the legacy of Milton S. Hershey. Founded in 1927 by Milton S. Hershey, HE&R and its subsidiaries own and/or operate the Hersheypark Entertainment Complex, Hersheypark Arena & Stadium, ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, Hershey Bears hockey team, Giant Center, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hersheypark Camping Resort, The Spa At The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Country Club and Hershey Golf Collection. For additional information about HE&R, visit www.HersheyPA.com. HE&R is proud to help fulfill the dream of our founder, Milton S. Hershey, by providing value to Milton Hershey School in its mission of helping students lead happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives – just as Mr. Hershey intended.
Food Rescue Us
Food Rescue US, a national non-profit organization with 36 locations across the United States, is committed to reducing food waste and food insecurity in America. Using a web-based app, volunteers are engaged to transfer excess fresh food from grocers, restaurants, and other sources to social service agencies that feed people who are food insecure. Since its founding, Food Rescue has provided more than 75 million meals and kept more than 97 million pounds of excess food out of landfills. For more information, visit www.foodrescue.us.