Nov 22, 2012 • By

Serving a meal that matters

As you celebrate Thanksgiving today, I would like to share the story of how some employees from General Mills’ Global Business Solutions group recently prepared a traditional Thanksgiving meal for families of Northside Child Development Center, in Minneapolis.

NCDC is an organization which provides childcare and afterschool programs. General Mills has a partnership with NCDC and participates in many volunteer activities there.

This summer a colleague and I visited NCDC and toured their facilities and were inspired to do something to help this great organization.

We presented them with an idea of cooking and serving the families a pre-thanksgiving dinner. Members from the GBS team petitioned the individual product groups within General Mills to donate food in order to make a delicious meal. Jennie-O Turkey Store and Land O’Lakes also joined in and came through with their respective products.

Now, what is a Thanksgiving meal without pumpkin pie?

Well, the GBS team came through once again with around 20 members spending an afternoon in the Betty Crocker Kitchens at our corporate headquarters. The teams worked with the Betty Crocker experts and baked a total of 20 fresh pumpkin pies, each using Pillsbury’s pie crusts and fresh ingredients.

The final menu ended up with the following items: turkey (Jennie-O), potatoes/sweet potatoes (Betty Crocker), stuffing (Betty Crocker), french bread (Pillsbury), vegetables (Green Giant), pumpkin pie (Pillsbury) and butter/milk (Land O’Lakes).

The day began with GBS employees arriving at NCDC and getting to work in their kitchen preparing the meal. As the day went on, we were able to interact with some of the children. And, and to see their faces light up when they were told what was for dinner was amazing. I think the pumpkin pie did it through!

Once the food was prepared, a second team of individuals arrived to help with serving and other activities. Families arrived and proceeded through the buffet line being manned by General Mills volunteers. After dinner, they participated in activities for the kids such as make your own play-doh, bowling for Cheerios, and making turkey hands.

We also had a special visitor – the Trix rabbit! He came by to take pictures with the families and was as popular as the pumpkin pie.

At the end of the night the families each received two grocery bags full of General Mills products to bring home as a parting gift.

All in all, the event was a huge success and everyone – volunteers and families – left that evening with smiles on their faces.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Editor’s note: The photos above are used with the permission of NCDC.