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Monday, January 15, 2018

Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation presents $21k to Second Harvest Heartland

The Schwan's Corporate Giving Foundation and
employees in Bloomington, Minnesota, recently
presented a grant of $21,155 to Second Harvest Heartland.
 Pictured at the grant presentation from left to right are:
Meghan Shaughnessy, Theresa Zaske, Amanda Pieper (Second
Harvest Heartland), Mike Smith and Lori Dubbeldee
(Schwan's Corporate Giving Foundation) and Nichole Loranger.
Jan. 15, 2018 — The Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation recently presented a grant of $21,155 to Second Harvest Heartland. The funds include a match for the $10,619 raised by our employees from the office in Bloomington, Minnesota, for their annual “Food Mania” fundraiser and the $8,943 collected by employees through its Jean Day program and truck-load sales. An additional $1,593 was added to the grant to help offset the administrative costs and to ensure employee contributions went the designated charity.

“Second Harvest Heartland has been an important charitable partner of Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation for a number of years,” Theresa Zaske, community relations manager. “I’m delighted that we’re able to partner with it in so many ways — volunteerism, food donations from the company and from subsidiary employees and grants from the foundation.”

In addition to the $10,619 donated by employees for Food Mania, they had also collected 436 pounds of food for Second Harvest Heartland. The campaign officially took place from Sept. 18-28. Senior Sales Analyst Meghan Shaughnessy, who helped coordinate the event, said that the employees’ effort, including money raised and food donations, is equivalent to approximately 31,857 meals donated for the community.

This was the seventh-consecutive year our team in Bloomington participated in Food Mania to help Second Harvest Heartland build awareness about hunger and alleviate hunger issues. The campaign efforts were led by the Schwan’s Engagement Council — an employee-led group that coordinates engagement activities for employees to engage in meaningful participation.

Second Harvest Heartland is affiliated with Feeding America, the leading non-profit organization working to end hunger in the United States. In 2011, the company announced it had entered into an official partnership with Feeding America. Second Harvest Heartland serves people in need in almost 60 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. In their most recent fiscal year they distributed more than 63 million meals.

Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on efforts to end hunger, promote youth education and leadership development, and provide essential services that advance the health of the communities where employees of subsidiaries of Schwan’s Company live and work. The foundation is headquartered in Marshall, Minnesota.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

'Schwan's People You Need to Know'


Ghosh talks about his passion for food


"Schwan's People You Need to Know" is an ongoing series of stories that share some of our employees' experiences as we celebrate our 65th anniversary and participate as a founding partner of the Minnesota Super Bowl 52 Host Committee

Jan. 10, 2018 — If you’ve ever enjoyed a Freschetta® or Red Baron® pizza, chances are that Senior Food Scientist Pradyot Ghosh has played a role in designing the product or packaging.

“I have been fortunate enough to claim that a number of Schwan’s products that people love to buy repeatedly for their families have my contribution in one way or the other,” he said. “This is truly fulfilling.”

Pradyot is currently a food scientist at the company’s pizza facility in Florence, Kentucky. He joined Schwan’s approximately 12 years ago after receiving his master’s degree and completing and internship with the company’s product innovation and development team.

As a food scientist, Pradyot works on many food projects that range from food quality to packaging to bringing innovative ideas to life.

He recently took some time to tell us about his experiences at Schwan’s, his love of food science and his favorite Schwan’s food.

Q: Tell us something about your job that most people don’t know and might find interesting.

A: Usually people assume that we are probably chefs or engineers. Food science is a multi-disciplinary field of science. We are trained in chemistry, microbiology, engineering and technology. But the passion that is needed to become a successful food scientist is the love of food and to use the scientific knowledge to make food that would be economical and healthy at the same time. Remember food science when you buy the next frozen meal or packaged, ready-to-eat food and try to think what it takes to make that happen.

Q: As a food scientist, what’s your typical day like?

A: It is usually comprised of product formulation work at my desk and in the lab. I also prepare and try new products, do research on food trends, evaluate competitor products and participate in meetings or calls with our business partners on marketing and manufacturing teams. As a food scientist, I also work every day with our engineering team, food safety and quality team, and regulatory experts to make sure all products being developed meet the necessary manufacturing and safety standards and government regulations. A lot of days, or sometimes nights, are spent doing plant trials to test and verify that the formulas I develop can be scaled up to meet all manufacturing requirements.

Q: What are you passionate about in your job?

A: The opportunity to use science and technology to develop food that everyday people buy and feed their families with. I enjoy the thought that the next generation of rocket scientists or the soldiers protecting this country are probably going to have a slice of pizza that was developed by us, and I played a small role in that.

Q: What are you most proud of throughout your career at Schwan’s?

A: My contribution toward the innovation of a new line of products for our well-recognized pizza brands of Red Baron and Freschetta. Over the years, I have played a direct role, along with a lot of other innovative and hard-working employees at Schwan’s in enhancing product quality and bringing innovative ideas to product and packaging design. I appreciate the opportunity to play the role and am very proud of my contribution.

Q: Schwan’s is a founding partner of the Minnesota Super Bowl 52 Host Committee this year, are you a football fan?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you have a favorite team?

A: Being a Bengals fan, I always hope that we will go to the (Big Game) someday.

Q: What is your favorite Schwan’s product to serve at your Big Game viewing party?

A: Pizza and breadsticks! The Pizzeria Style Mega Meat Pizza with Cheese Stuffed Breadsticks from the Schwan’s® truck has been a staple on my family’s (Big Game) night for a while. Throw some Schwan’s BBQ Dry Rub Seasoned Wings and you have a feast!

Q: What’s your favorite Schwan’s food?

A: The Beef Merlot Skillet Meal has been my family’s favorite. It is easy to prepare, great tasting and nutritionally uncompromising. Add a few slices of Schwan’s Five Cheese Garlic French Bread for the kids and a salad for the adults on the side, and you have a complete meal.

Q: Do you have any recipes you are a master of that you would like to share?

A: I usually follow the suggested recipes on the Schwan’s website. Working in Schwan’s Product Innovation and Development has a lot of privileges and one is the knowledge that all of the suggested recipes have been developed and tested to perfection by our master chefs. One of my favorite ones, especially for the spring and summer months, is the Grilled Alaskan Cod with Fresh Italian Salsa. This recipe gives me the opportunity of show off my grilling skills to my young kids. It’s quick to prepare and makes a wonderful and healthy meal for my health-conscious family.

Q: What’s your favorite memory in all the years you’ve worked here?

A: Every year, once a year, all the employees at the Product Innovation and Development team get together as one team to celebrate success and discuss learning from our mistakes. But one of the best parts of this event is to go out in the evenings and have fun as a big family. We do bowling or bocce, eat out, and just have pure fun together. These events have been one of my best fond memories which I cherish.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you.

A: Outside a small circle at my work, people don’t know about my interest about coaching science and technology to young kids. I coach a group of young kids for Destination Imagination and also a robotics team for the Lego League. I enjoy science and technological advancement in human society and try to contribute by encouraging young kids to imagine the future through science.

Q: What are you most looking forward to for the future of our company?

A: Innovation. The food market is changing in a big way. Consumers are confused about what they should eat and what they should not. They want to know what they are putting in their body through food and demanding more information. I see a great opportunity for food scientists like me to use our knowledge and expertise to influence organizations to move to more consumer-centric development. I believe strongly that Schwan’s is in a great position to play a big role in the marketplace. Frozen food is one of the best and economical ways to deliver nutritious foods directly to consumers, and this is where Schwan’s will shine.

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