BOSTON, Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sodexo today celebrates Feeding Our Future®, an annual summer program that provided nearly 9,000 free meals to local youth this year. Volunteers from Sodexo and State Street Corporation joined to celebrate the program's success today with an ice cream social for children from Boston-area Boys & Girls Clubs.
Over the past 15 years, Sodexo's Feeding Our Future® program has provided more than 131,000 summer lunches to youth from low-income households in Boston who rely on free and reduced-price meals during the school year. The program now operates in 24 cities in the United States and is made possible in Boston by a grant from Sodexo Foundation, the anti-hunger charitable arm of Sodexo, Inc., and volunteer support from State Street and Sodexo. Together with The Greater Boston Food Bank and the South Boston and Dorchester Boys & Girls Clubs, they donate the food, space and labor necessary to provide summer lunches to local youth who lack dependable access to nutritious meals.
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. A 2010 study conducted by Feeding America, a national hunger-relief charity, found that nearly 17% or 235,000 children are living with hunger in Massachusetts. 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.
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 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.