Bob Evans Farms Partners With the USO and Celebrity Chef Andre Rush To Support Military Heroes’ Mental Well-Being

New Wakefield Research survey from Bob Evans Farms finds that family mealtime is one of the sacrifices of military personnel

NEW ALBANY, OHIO (May 23, 2023) – In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month and Military Appreciation Month, Bob Evans Farms, Inc., a leading manufacturer of farm-fresh refrigerated dinner sides and breakfast products, today announced a new partnership with the United Service Organizations (USO) to support the mental well-being of military members. The partnership builds on the company’s commitment to giving back to those who serve through its Our Farm Salutes® program.

As part of this year’s effort, Bob Evans Farms is working with celebrity chef and U.S. Army veteran Andre Rush to promote mental health awareness and the benefits of bringing people together through food. Chef Rush is known for his work advocating for military communities and mental health services, including the 2,222 daily push-up regimen he completes in honor of the 22 veterans lost to suicide each day.

“At Bob Evans Farms, we have a long history of supporting military service members, veterans and their families,” said Mark Delahanty, Bob Evans Farms president and CEO and U.S. Navy veteran. “Service can take a serious mental toll on people. Our military heroes deserve robust mental health support, and we’re proud to contribute a small piece to that by partnering with the USO.”

“Frequent moves to unfamiliar environments, separation from home and loved ones and more – service members and their loved ones face unique stressors. Supporting their mental well-being through every step of their military journey is paramount to keeping them strong,” said USO Chief Operating Officer and retired Rear Adm. Alan Reyes. “The USO is grateful to Bob Evans Farms for their partnership and commitment to the women and men who serve and their families around the world.”

Bob Evans Farms’ partnership with the USO includes a $125,000 donation and sponsorship of the USO Chef’s Table Experience, which occurred on May 3 at Fort Belvoir, Va., where Chef Rush joined to share his story of resilience. The quarterly event brings together a small group of active-duty service members and their guests for a one-of-a-kind world-class six-course dinner prepared by top military chefs from each branch of the armed forces.

“I’ve dedicated my life to giving back and supporting the mental health and wellness of our service members,” said Chef Rush. “Food has helped me and saved my life. It brings us together and connects us to family and friends like nothing else. Having the opportunity to share my passions and help others through efforts like this with the USO and Bob Evans Farms is why I do what I do.”

More than a meal

Numerous studies have found that regular family meals offer a wide range of mental, physical and social-emotional benefits, but a new Wakefield Research study from Bob Evans Farms found that family mealtime is just one of the many sacrifices of military members.

Packaging for a cause

As part of the USO partnership from July through September, select packages of Bob Evans® dinner sides and breakfast products and Owens® Sausage products will proudly turn purple to symbolize all branches of the military and feature the Our Farm Salutes and USO logos to raise awareness of the need for services that support their mental well-being.