GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) recognized Sodexo for exceeding its commitments to ensure a greater number of healthier options are available in the vending machines it manages in its operations. Nearly 50 percent of its vending machines ensure that 30 percent of selections represent healthy options. The achievement was applauded by Dr. James Gavin, Chairman of the PHA Board of Directors at the 2017 Building a Healthier Future Summit in Washington, D.C. May 10-12.
Sodexo also announced at this year's summit that it will join Move to Improve, a new initiative launched in partnership with Family Circle and PHA. The goal of the initiative is to help families and children strive for better health with the goal of achieving a total of 20.17 million miles of movement in 2017.
"This is just one more step to ensure we are fostering an environment for healthy lifestyles in the communities where we operate," said Rachel Sylvan, director corporate social responsibility, Sodexo. "According to the Department of Health and Human Services, only one in three kids is physically active every day and less than 5 percent of adults participate in 30 minutes of activity each day. Initiatives like Move to Improve are designed to up those statistics while also bringing about real health benefits that can come with increased physical activity."
In 2016, Sodexo was named the inaugural PHA Partner of the Year for working to ensure the health of America's youth, making healthier choices more affordable and making them accessible to families and children across the country.
With the Partner of the Year recognition, PHA commended Sodexo for exceeding four of its six commitments, which benefit millions of consumers in the workplace, hospitals, schools, universities, museums and the government institutions that Sodexo serves. In a recent survey to more than 3,000 managers at its operations sites, Sodexo found that 54 percent of its U.S. clients, across all business lines, also had stated goals for advancing health, wellness and nutrition.
More than two years ago, Sodexo announced six metrics-driven PHA commitments intended to combat childhood obesity and make the healthy choice, the easy choice for young consumers and their families. Third-party verification confirmed that Sodexo exceeded several goal targets to include offering healthier vending options, implementing Smarter Lunchroom tactics and serving an additional 17 million free breakfasts in primary and secondary schools.
Since March of 2014, Sodexo has been working with PHA to fulfill a four-year commitment with six specific actions, including: deploying Mindful by Sodexo, its healthy dining program; implementing the healthy vending program; committing to 1 in 5 hospitals meeting the PHA Hospital Healthier Food Initiative; increasing healthier food options in the K-12 schools it serves; providing healthier meal options for children in zoo, museum and aquarium accounts; and, serving 17 million additional free breakfasts to K-12 students by 2018.
With more than 130,000 employees in more than 12,500 client locations in North America, Sodexo possesses the ability to make an enormous positive impact on the health and wellbeing of many, and it has made several moves to do so over the last few years. Since 2014, total sales of Mindful by Sodexo options jumped from 6 million to 15 million – an increase of more than 250 percent. In 2015, consumers chose Mindful by Sodexo items over traditional versions, saving 13.5 million calories.
Sodexo USA is an American business that is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Delivering more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life, Sodexo is a leading provider of sustainable, integrated facilities management and food service operations. It employs 123,000 Americans at 12,500 sites across the country and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional U.S. jobs through its annual purchases of $9.2 billion in goods and services from small to large American businesses. In support of local communities across the U.S., the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed close to $30 million over the past 20 years to help feed children in America impacted by hunger.
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