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Reducing Food Waste While Supporting Those in Need  

When Hallmark headquarters temporarily closed and employees began working from home due to the pandemic in 2020, the Crown Room’s catering manager, Jenny Sears, noticed perishable items in the kitchen that she did not want to go to waste. She immediately called Operation Breakthrough, a close neighboring agency and longtime nonprofit partner that supports families in Kansas City’s urban core.  

Sears and a team of Crown Room team members packed her minivan from floor to ceiling with food five times and drove the two blocks from Hallmark headquarters to Operation Breakthrough’s kitchen where they provide nutrition and nourishment to the 700 children who Operation Breakthrough serves daily. With the daycare and schools temporarily closed, the large amounts of food were prepped into family-size portions for their food pantry and their coolers were completely stocked with gallons of milk.  

“The food that Hallmark provided in March of 2020 helped us continue to meet the needs of the families we support in Kansas City’s urban core,” said Mary EsselmanOperation Breakthrough’s president and CEO. “Hallmark is an important community partner to us. After the initial donation in early 2020, the Crown Room continued to donate food, delivering about eight pallets over the summer.” 

Jenny Sears was recognized nationally for her caring efforts. She was named to the Inspiration Honor Roll of The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards Celebration.

It was important to me that we didn’t waste the food, especially at a time when so many of us were feeling fear and uncertainty. This was our way of showing care for our planet by reducing waste while giving back to our community and supporting children and families during a time of great need.

Jenny Sears
Crown Room Catering Manager

Return to 2020 care for our PLANET