ST. CLOUD, Minn., Aug. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sodexo, St. Cloud State University and The Schwan Food Company today celebrate Feeding Our Future®, an annual summer program that is providing more than 21,000 free meals to local youth this summer. Volunteers from Sodexo and St. Cloud State University are hosting a community picnic featuring an ice cream giveaway by The Schwan Food Company for children to celebrate the program's success.
"A committed volunteer team of Sodexo and St. Cloud State University staff works hard to ensure these children have dependable access to nutritious lunches during the summer months," said Tim Ness, resident operations manager, Sodexo. "That includes the tremendous leadership exhibited by local partners like Jerry Sparby at Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota, who has built strong community relationships to help advocate for fighting child hunger."
Since 2010, Sodexo's Feeding Our Future® program has provided nearly 56,000 summer lunches to youth from low-income households in St. Cloud who rely on free and reduced-price meals during the academic year. Though only in its third year, the Feeding Our Future program at St. Cloud State University continues to show growth in reaching more area children with nutritious summer meals. Feeding Our Future now operates in 24 cities in the United States and is made possible in St. Cloud by a grant from Sodexo Foundation, the anti-hunger charitable arm of Sodexo, Inc., and matching funds from Schwan's Food Service, Inc., a subsidiary of The Schwan Food Company. Across the nation, Sodexo employees work closely with local hunger-relief organizations, partnering vendors and clients to prepare and distribute the meals to children at local feeding sites.
Childhood hunger continues to be a growing problem in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 16.2 million children in America struggle with hunger. Findings from a 2011 study conducted by Feeding America, a national hunger-relief charity, show that the child food insecurity rate in Minnesota approached 17 percent, with more than 212,000 children at risk of hunger. The resulting impact of that hunger frequently includes health issues, poor academic performance, and limited future employment opportunities.
"There is one simple thing that any of us can do to offer our children a leg up in the world. Feed them," said Robert A. Stern, chair, Sodexo Foundation. "Feeding Our Future does just that, helping to fill the gap of the 19 million U.S. children not reached by other supplemental nutrition programs during the summer months."
This summer, Feeding Our Future will provide 400,000 summer lunches to youth in Atlanta; Boston; Buffalo, N.Y.; Camden, N.J.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Fort Worth, Texas; Honolulu; Houston; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Norfolk, Va.; Oklahoma City; Pittsburgh; San Jose, Calif.; St. Cloud, Minn.; St. Louis; Syracuse, N.Y.; Terre Haute, Ind. and Washington.
"At The Schwan Food Company, we are fully committed to the cause of hunger relief, and we are excited to partner with Sodexo," said Pat McCoy, vice president of sales for Schwan's Food Service. "Studies show that one in six Americans live without a sufficient amount of food each day. Programs like Feeding Our Future help create awareness and help nourish children at risk of hunger."
Programs like Feeding Our Future exemplify the positive contributions that large corporations are making in support of local communities. Working in collaboration with Sodexo are 26 of its vendor partners, including The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Sysco and The Schwan Food Company. Together they are providing more than $103,000 in funds which allows Sodexo Foundation to implement these essential supplemental nutrition programs in cities nationwide. Thanks to these efforts, by the end of this summer Feeding Our Future will have provided more than 3 million free summer lunches to children since the program began in 1997.
To make a contribution to the fight against hunger or for more information, please visit www.sodexofoundation.org.
About The Schwan Food Company
THE SCHWAN FOOD COMPANY is a privately held, multibillion-dollar business that manufactures and markets fine frozen foods through home-delivery, retail-grocery and food-service channels. Its many popular brands include Red Baron®, Tony's®, and Freschetta® pizza, Mrs. Smith's® and Edwards® desserts and Schwan's® fine frozen foods. Based in Minnesota for 60 years, the company's subsidiaries employ about 16,000 people in the United States. To learn more about Schwan, visit us at www.theschwanfoodcompany.com on the World Wide Web.
ABOUT SODEXO'S FIGHT AGAINST HUNGER
Sodexo Inc. and Sodexo Foundation work to help end hunger in the United States. Sodexo Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission to end childhood hunger. The foundation works to ensure that every child in the United States, especially those most at-risk, grows up with dependable access to enough nutritious food to enable them to lead a healthy, productive life. Sodexo Foundation cultivates and maintains strategic partnerships with regional and national hunger-relief entities and youth mobilization organizations—all part of Sodexo's STOP Hunger Initiative, its global program to end hunger and malnutrition in the communities where it operates. Sodexo is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md. and funds all administrative costs for Sodexo Foundation, which since 1999 has made more than $17 million in grants to end childhood hunger. Visit www.SodexoFoundation.org for more information.
Sodexo's STOP Hunger Programs
Impact to Date (as of June 2012)
Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship
Heroes of Everyday Life®
Feeding Our Future®
Backpack Food Program
Distributed more than $17 million in grants
Gave $353,000 in scholarships & matching grants
Awarded $478,000 to employees' hunger charities
Funded more than 2.9 million summer meals
Mobilized 125,000 employees to fight hunger
Funded 70 programs; providing 2 million meals
SOURCE Sodexo Inc.