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NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- In keeping with its deep commitment to serving locally and culturally relevant food at its client schools across the nation, Genuine Foods hosted its first ever "Genuine Loves" event in Fletcher, VT. Serving as a debut for this first-of-its kind national program, "Genuine Loves" takes school meals to a new level by weaving hyper-local ingredients, products from beloved local artisans and purveyors, and locally iconic dishes and recipes into its K-12 and Higher Education foodservice meal programs.

The kick-off event was held at Fletcher Elementary, a member of Franklin West Supervisory Union, in Fletcher, Vermont, and hosted K-12 students, school administrators, and Genuine Foods leadership including Chief Innovation Officer Paula Reichel and Chief Operating Officer Zachery Thayer. The informal program included a live demonstration from "Genuine Expert" Julie Irish of Burlington-based Pitchfork Pickle, who supplied a key ingredient to one of the sampled menu items. Students got to learn about fermentation techniques, seeing firsthand how easy and healthy pickling can be, take home a simple pickling recipe, and sampling featured items.

Students and administrators were treated to tastings of two delicious Vermont fall-themed dishes: Zesty Corn Chowder with PItchfork Pickle Pickled Carrot Crunch Garnish; and Apple Carrot Cobbler with Runamok Vermont Maple Syrup Glaze.

"We really love being able to build our school menus around the products and people influencing how people eat in a particular area," says Paula Reichel, Genuine Foods' Chief Innovation Officer. "Students appreciate being able to taste something familiar--something that perhaps their parents or grandparents make for them, and our clients appreciate our commitment to scratch-made, nutritious menus. The "Genuine Loves" initiative also allows us to build crucial sourcing relationships on a hyper-local level. This enables us to meaningfully channel our purchasing power into the communities we serve."

The Genuine Loves program, which is rolling out countrywide this month, offers students menu items and sampling experiences featuring dishes and recipes that are significant to their area. Each dish spotlights locally grown or produced foods and locally relevant dishes with simple, memorable information provided about the meals and their ingredients, including their history, origins, and relevance to local food culture. One month might see iconic Hatch Green Chiles utilized for a Green Chile Cheeseburger in New Mexico, or local okra featured in a traditional Smothered Okra dish in New Orleans.

"When we founded Genuine Foods ten years ago, we knew this was the direction we needed to take. These days everyone has some sort of 'local' pledge. We knew ours had to go farther, to stay true to our underlying mission," says Founder and CEO Jeff Mills. "Foodservice is what we do, but the meaning, the experiences, and the impact that we create goes far beyond the plate. That's at the core of the "Genuine Loves" program."

For more information on the "Genuine Loves" program please visit



Genuine Foods is a leading national purpose-driven foodservice company seeking to bring much needed radical change to the foodservice experience, especially in communities where poverty, obesity, and health disparities are prevalent. We deliver delicious, scratch-made foods using fresh, vibrant ingredients, an innovative people-focused team, and a deep commitment to reliability and integrity to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, senior living and healthcare facilities, and specialty venues across the country. Food service management is what we do, but what we create together with our customers, our partners, and our dedicated team members goes far beyond the plate.


Pitchfork Pickle crafts small batch ferments, pickles and hot sauce in Burlington, Vermont. We work with produce from Pitchfork Farm and other local farms, which inspires recipes and flavors. 

For more information, please contact Paula Reichel of Genuine Foods: | 202.321.3584

SOURCE Genuine Foods