Sodexo Foundation Announces Multi-Million, Multi-Year Commitment to Fight Childhood Hunger in the U.S.
GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Sodexo Foundation, the anti-hunger charitable arm of Sodexo, Inc., announced today a commitment to provide $20 million in grants and in-kind donations to support and create new, innovative approaches and solutions to ensure the 17 million children in the United States facing hunger grow up with dependable access to nutritious food to lead healthy, productive lives.
Building on more than 10 years in the fight against hunger, the Sodexo Foundation is making a renewed commitment to focus on those most vulnerable by joining Share Our Strength and YSA (Youth Service America) in a three-year partnership that will increase the impact on alleviating childhood hunger through targeted funding of summer meals programs, nationwide youth engagement activities and special grants to youth, non-profit organizations and schools.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Sodexo at an historic level of commitment while broadening the reach of our program to engage young people in service as everyone has a strength to share in the fight against hunger and poverty,” said Pat Nicklin, Managing Director, Share Our Strength. “Sodexo has been a leader among companies committed to this cause and was the first company to invest in the D.C. plan to end childhood hunger which has become Share Our Strength’s blueprint for success. We look forward to continuing our partnership with new resources to ensure that no child in America is hungry.”
More than 50 million people in the United States are at-risk of hunger including the 1 in 4 children who rely on free and reduced-price school breakfast and lunch programs as their only guaranteed meals during the school year. Sodexo’s partnership with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry initiative will allow the Foundation to maintain a focus on eliminating hunger nationally through summer meals programs, while also having an even deeper impact in three key markets, Maryland, Virginia and Florida, over the next three years with the goal of increasing participation each year by five percent over each previous year.
“In Maryland, we were the first state in the nation to commit to ending childhood hunger within our border, and we’re committed to being the first in the nation to achieving that goal. But we cannot do it alone,” said Governor O’Malley. “The Sodexo Foundation’s commitment to the summer meals program is an enormous boost to the Maryland Partnership to End Childhood Hunger. Its leadership on this important public health matter has encouraged other major Maryland companies to contribute large gifts through its corporate foundations as well. Sodexo is a leader among companies in Maryland and across the country committed to ending childhood hunger.”
Additionally, the Sodexo Foundation will fund a collaborative effort with Share Our Strength and YSA to engage and mobilize the youth of America. The partnership will create incentives for youth volunteerism projects, establish a youth ambassadors program that will help families enroll in nutrition programs and develop an online youth action center to educate elementary, middle and high school students about hunger and poverty while providing them resources to join the fight and have a direct impact.
“Children and youth have always been at the center of any important social change in this country,” said Steve Culbertson, president and CEO of Youth Service America. “Sodexo and YSA will tap into the great energy, commitment, idealism, and creativity of young people to end childhood hunger once and for all.”
As part of its commitment to fighting childhood hunger, Sodexo and the Sodexo Foundation will support new and existing programs including:
- Provide children nutritious food through programs like Feeding Our FutureÂ®, which Sodexo has provided more than 2.5 million free lunches to children since 1997;
- Offer services such as training with Sodexo chefs to teach families how to cook easy, nutritious meals;
- Recognize and reward students who have made a significant impact in the fight against hunger with Sodexo Foundation STOP Hunger Scholarships program; and
- Volunteer thousands of hours in local food banks including the annual Sodexo Servathon.
The Sodexo Foundation is an independent charitable organization that focuses its mission on fighting childhood hunger. Since its inception in 1999, the Sodexo Foundation has distributed more than 945 grants, totaling more than $15 million to hunger-related organizations.
“There is enough food in America to feed all children, yet millions are at-risk of suffering long-term affects on their health, education and future potential because they do not have dependable access to nutritious food,” said Stephen J. Brady, President of the Sodexo Foundation. “Through our partnership with these two tremendous champions for youth our opportunity to make an impact is significant. Building on our record of achievement with a combination of nationwide youth engagement, grant programs, funding for summer meals, and engaging Sodexo employees, clients and customers, we are poised to have a broader and deeper impact on fighting childhood hunger.”
Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On Site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Motivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $15 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.
About Share Our Strength
Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit, is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. Through its No Kid Hungry campaign–a national effort to end childhood hunger in America by 2015–Share Our Strength ensures children in need are enrolled in effective federal nutrition programs, invests in community organizations fighting hunger, teaches families how to cook healthy meals on a budget, and builds public-private partnerships to end hunger, both nationally and at the state level. Working closely with the culinary industry and relying on the strength of its volunteers, Share Our Strength hosts innovative culinary fundraising events and develops pioneering cause marketing campaigns that support No Kid Hungry. Visit www.Strength.org to get involved in the No Kid Hungry campaign.
About Youth Service America
Youth Service America (YSA) improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. Founded in 1986, YSA supports a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement. The impact of YSA’s work through service and service-learning is measured in student achievement, workplace readiness, and healthy communities. For more information, visit www.YSA.org.
Global Youth Service Day is an annual campaign that celebrates and mobilizes the millions of children and youth who improve their communities each day of the year through service and service-learning. For more information, visit www.GYSD.org.
SOURCE Sodexo Foundation