An innovative response to helping its employees as well as a hurting foodservice industry, West Liberty Foods in West Liberty, Iowa, has partnered with local Subway stores in Iowa, Illinois and Utah to supply one meal a week for its team members at plants in those states.
The meat and poultry producer of private label for grocery and foodservice nationwide has the capacity to produce more than 650 million pounds of product across four facilities. The initiative aims to show some recognition to team members working to maintain production during the coronavirus pandemic, and West Liberty Foods will provide more than 11,000 Subway meals over the next four weeks.
“COVID-19 has impacted the foodservice and retail industries in opposite and equally challenging ways that have never been seen before,” said Brandon Achen, chief operations officer, West Liberty Foods. “Food manufacturers like us are experiencing drastic sales declines from their foodservice customers, and orders for retail customers have increased exponentially as retailers are trying to keep their store shelves stocked.”
A 15-year veteran of the company, Achen was just promoted to COO less than a month ago. “Our mission was to find a simple way to thank our front-line team members for their ongoing service to West Liberty Foods, while supporting our nation’s small businesses — and one of our foodservice partners — in this time of crisis,” he said.
West Liberty is using its social channels to promote the partnership with local Subway shops through a hashtag, #SubwayFeedsOurForce, and has been encouraging its vendor partners to also partner with the sandwich chain.