GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Employees of Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, understand that for some children the holidays don't always mean bounty and joy. At times it means facing hunger. For more than 10 years these employees have dedicated support to locally run meal programs in alignment with the mission of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. During the 2016/2017 school year, the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is funding 73 backpack food programs across the United States, providing 2.3 million meals to help bridge the hunger gap during holidays and school breaks.
Since 2006, Sodexo has supported backpack food programs. Through the program Sodexo partners with local food banks and schools to provide nutritious, easy-to-prepare and non-perishable food for students who are at risk for hunger when free or reduced-price school lunches are not available. Backpacks are distributed to students in easily accessible and safe environments on the last day of school prior to a weekend or holiday.
"According to Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, hunger during the holidays and throughout the year increases the risk of a multitude of diet-related health problems," said Shondra Jenkins, executive director, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. "58 percent of Feeding America's client households report that someone in their home has hypertension, 33 percent report that someone in their households has diabetes. It's not just about hunger, it's about health and wellness."
Educators and school nurses continue to see cases where Monday-morning hunger remains the highest hurdle they face in competing for student well-being and academic performance. When, nationally, the more than 21 million children who rely on free and reduced-priced school meals go home for the holiday or weekend, proper nutrition can be scarce. Backpack Food Programs are an effective way to fill the void.
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation provides grants to help fund local backpack food programs where Sodexo employees are regularly volunteering their time and talent. Each of the 73 backpack food programs that received funding for the current academic year received a $1,000 grant for its food bank. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $29 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America.
Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.
Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.
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