Fresh Ideas is focused on food and the lack of it.

In October of 2019, the learning leaders at Fresh Ideas, a food service management company, transitioned their learning and development programs to The Brainier LMS. With over 100+ salaried employees, and 1,000 hourly employees making up their staff, the appetite for organizational learning was huge.

Fresh Ideas serves many academic institutions, corporations, and senior living communities, each with their own specific needs and challenges. Food service demands a high level of safety standards and critical training measures to go with it. Establishing a standard of training for a thousand employees across multiple states was job number 1.

When eLearning through The Brainier LMS was rolled out to a test group of employees in October, course completions were heavy, and even through the end of the year, learning activity remained consistent. In January of 2020, as part of their 20th anniversary celebration, Fresh Ideas announced the “Training For Meals” program, designed to raise money to fight the growing food insecurity problem.

The impact is over $73,500 worth of food to the community.

For each course completed, Fresh Ideas pledged to donate $1 to the Food Bank of Northern & Central Missouri. Through its relationships with providers, the food bank can turn $1 of donation into $21 worth of groceries for people in need. In the first two months of the program, the Fresh Ideas team completed 2,500 courses with another 1000 completed courses by the end of March resulting in a $3,500 donation to the Food Bank during a critical time.

“Our teams are passionate about bettering themselves as well as the world. The Training for Meals program not only accelerated the rollout of our new training program, it created excitement around the impact each person can make to the community.”

Kris Lensmeyer
Chief Innovation & Experience Officer
Fresh Ideas

Disrupted By A Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic brought on the closure of schools and offices and ultimately a sudden slowing of business for food service. Fresh Ideas has not been immune to this crisis, but despite a temporary reduction in force the demand for learning remains. By the end of April, projections for another $1,000 donation are becoming a reality.

More Than Just Feeding the Hungry

Leading up to this crisis, employees were taking course after course in the LMS to better themselves and their performance. What no one could have known was that they were preparing for an event that would test their abilities both professionally and personally. The bulk of the courses being consumed were related to food safety and best practices. A stated goal of Fresh Ideas is to be the safest food production company in the world. Accurate information concerning food safety is potentially lifesaving, especially during a pandemic. Learners at Fresh Ideas have completed thousands of courses on safety policies, procedures, and culinary training to refine their skills.

Developing “Soft” Skills

The second most popular group of courses taken related to leadership development and building of soft-skills, (or personal attributes that allow for greater teamwork, communication, and understanding). In a time of crisis, a team that is well-versed in effective communication, empathy, and teamwork is invaluable. While personalized content is being created at Fresh Ideas, the built-in library of coursework like this is being utilized.

An Enduring Goal

The Training For Meals program is slated to continue through the entirety of 2020 as Fresh Ideas celebrates it’s 20th anniversary. As more employees are added to the LMS, a nd courses become available, the donations will keep coming. Visit to learn how you can join the fight against hunger in central and northeast Missouri.