GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 240 people enjoyed a meal at the Salvation Army in Spokane, WA, on April 26, prepared and served by Gonzaga University students and the Sodexo management team. This is the third year that Sodexo and Gonzaga students have sponsored an event as part of the company's Stop Hunger Servathon held every April and it is just the most recent example of how the company and campus community have partnered to combat hunger.
Employees of Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life Services and dining services partner to Gonzaga University, support the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, which has a mission to eradicate child hunger, especially among those most at-risk. These efforts are supported across the country by local Sodexo teams and their clients and customers.
Aligning with Gonzaga's Tradition of Service
"One of the values we at Gonzaga University try to instill in our students is the spirit of volunteerism and support for the local community," said Judith Biggs Garbuio, Ph.D., vice president, student development, Gonzaga University. "One of the reasons Sodexo has been a great partner on campus is that the management team and employees embrace the notion of volunteering and understand the importance of giving back and they are also committed to getting students involved in those efforts."
The partnership between the University and Sodexo to combat hunger in the Spokane area takes many forms. The Center for Community Action and Service Learning (CCASL), the Gonzaga department responsible for volunteer and community engagement efforts, empowers students to take action through community involvement, education and public service by coordinating service-learning courses, community-based volunteer and outreach programs, and referrals to external volunteer opportunities. Through these programs, students find opportunities to serve their local and global communities, develop leadership skills, and engage in the Jesuit practice of reflection to learn and grow from these experiences. Involvement with Sodexo's commitment to combat hunger in our community is one way students can make a difference.
Community Hunger Relief Efforts Throughout the Year
2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the University's Campus Kitchens program. The Sodexo team works with CCASL, which provides and tracks student volunteers to coordinate excess food pickups twice a week for distribution. 16,040 pounds ̶ the equivalent of 13,367 meals ̶ were donated in 2015 alone. Gonzaga was Food Recovery certified in July 2015 for its efforts with Campus Kitchens.
The efforts go even further; Daniel Caris, Sodexo's sustainability and greenhouse coordinator, plants tomato seeds in the campus' greenhouse for use in Campus Kitchens program. 34,150 meals have been served to Spokane's children through Sodexo's Feeding Our Future program, now in its third year at Gonzaga. Meals are provided through Union Gospel Mission, providing 250-300 kids with lunch, dinner and some breakfasts every day for a nine-week summer camp. And, Peanut Butter and Jelly Drives held throughout 2015 produced nearly 2,200 sandwiches for the Mission's clients.
"Gonzaga's students and staff have long demonstrated a clear commitment to helping those in need in their community. The Sodexo on-site team is committed to the University and the community and we believe that, by partnering together, we increase the opportunities to improve quality of life for those in need. We're proud of our combined efforts that resulted in the donation of more than 51,000 meals throughout the year," said Pat Clelland, resident district manager, Sodexo at Gonzaga University.
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 at the company's corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.
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