Food Science Students, Faculty Participate in Hot Cocoa Pack-Off

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Students, faculty, and staff from Illinois Tech's Department of Food Science and Nutrition joined forces with Chicago-area food companies for a hot cocoa label pack-off on February 13, 2020, at the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, Illinois.

This pilot event was coordinated by Bigger Table, the nonprofit arm of the Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network. Illinois Tech has a seat on the Bigger Table Board of Advisors, which organized the companies who donated the hot chocolate ingredients, time, and labor, including ADM, Bader Rutter, CoreFX, ConnectFood, Dairy Farmers of America, Edlong, FONA International, Imbibe, and Olam Cocoa. Proven Partners Group was responsible for product manufacturing.

More than 40 volunteers, including company representatives and Illinois Tech's participants, labeled and boxed more than 10,000 cocoa packets for the food bank to distribute.

“Thousands of Illinois residents are food insecure, meaning they don’t have enough food every day, and the local food and beverage industry cares about addressing this issue,” says Alan Reed, executive director of Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network. “This nonprofit initiative demonstrates that by working together, we can formulate delicious, nutritious, high-quality products and deliver them to people who need them most.”