February 04, 2023

Osceola Foods strives to build a stronger community through giving back

The Clarke Schools Food Pantry recently received a sizable food donation thanks to Osceola Foods and the generosity of the plant’s team.

Truckloads of Hormel product were recently delivered to Clarke Community Schools’ food pantry to support those in the community experiencing food insecurity. Nearly 700 cases of Hormel Compleats microwaveable meals were donated thanks to a food drive led by Clarke high schooler Grace Cline, daughter of Osceola Foods’ night superintendent Ryan Cline. Through their efforts and Hormel’s company-wide “End Hunger” initiative, donations like this can be made to help fight food insecurity and help local organizations provide for citizens most in need.

Every year, Hormel plants across the United States set aside money specifically to donate to organizations that fight hunger in the community. Osceola Foods goes above and beyond, helping with annual events like the Clarke County Fair, and the Wine Walk, as well as providing food donations for local fundraisers, sporting events, and church suppers.

Each December, Osceola Foods also “adopts” nearly two dozen local families. They provide a ham for each family and then employees at the plant split the wish lists of all the children to make sure that everyone has a happy holiday.

“We’re really just trying to be good neighbors,” said John Hoag, Plant Manager of Osceola Foods. “Our employees work and live in the community and it’s important to all of us that we do what we can to make it a great place for everyone to live.”

When the Student-Teacher Assistance Team (STAT) kicked off through Clarke Schools in 2017, it quickly became apparent that students living in poverty would need more than emotional support to succeed in school. The team put together the food and clothing pantry for Clarke students and their families so they could focus on their education instead of where their next meal was coming from.

“Osceola Foods makes a tremendous difference in the lives of our students and our community,” said Brad Lampe, the Instructional Coach for Clarke Schools and one of the pantry managers. “Their generosity makes it possible for us to offer good, nutritional options for all those we serve.”

Beyond annual donations, Hoag and the Osceola Foods team have a discretionary budget that is marked specifically for community support. Being the second largest Hormel plant in the nation and producers of products ranging from sliced meats and bacon to smoked hams and prepared meals, they have the ability to share their bounty when needed.

“Clarke County is fortunate to have such community-focused business call Osceola home,” said Bill Trickey, Executive Director of the Clarke County Development Corporation. “Their generous presence and commitment to the community is more valuable than we could ever express.”

For more information on Osceola Foods, their “End Hunger” program, or other community involvement opportunities, contact John Hoag, Osceola Foods’ Plant Manager at 1027 Warren Avenue, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: 641-342-8001, or email: jdhoag@hormel.com