(July 30, 2013)—The national nonprofit School Nutrition Association has bestowed upon the vice president of Ontario-based Gold Star Foods its National Industry Member of the Year Award.
Sean Leer became the 11th person to be honored with the award last month.
Throughout his 19 years of service in school nutrition, Leer has worked to help school nutrition programs increase efficiency, maximize the value of their USDA Foods entitlement dollars, serve the freshest, most nutritious food available and improve food safety and sanitation.
Leer helped lead Gold Star's initiative to increase local sourcing, link school meal programs with the farms supplying their foods and minimize the company's carbon footprint. Leer has worked with farmers, wholesalers and processors to provide local produce to over 1.5 million students each day.
As much as 72% of the produce the company delivers to schools is grown within 200 miles of Gold Star's home base.
With Leer's help, Gold Star has also overhauled its bakery products, switching to 100% sustainable, California grown wheat flour, which is milled and baked locally. The company now prepares all whole grain, low sodium bread products meeting both Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Healthier US School Challenge standards at no price increase for school districts.