DETROIT, June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Leveraging a $20,000 "Feeding Our Future" grant from the Sodexo Foundation, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) launches a program today that provides approximately 18,500 lunches for the city's youth this summer. Sodexo's Feeding Our Future program provides school children who rely on free and reduced-price meals during the academic year with nutritious lunches during the summer break. It kicks-off on June 21st and runs through August 29th. Executive Chef Larry Duren, along with other Sodexo employees and DIA volunteers, will donate their time to prepare and package the lunches. Sodexo, the official foodservice provider for DIA, will hand off the meals to Gleaners Community Food Bank, a Detroit institution that has been feeding the hungry for more than 32 years. Gleaners will distribute the meals to food sites in and around Detroit.
"With nearly one in four children living in households that find it increasingly difficult to put food on the table, there are bound to be additional challenges when the school doors close for the summer," said Stephen J. Brady, president of the Sodexo Foundation. "As the leading food service provider to public schools throughout this country, we understand the needs that exist and we are determined to make a positive impact that leads to the elimination of hunger in this country."
According to a January 2010 study by the Food Research and Action Center, one in four children living in Michigan households lacked the necessary funds to put adequate food on the family table in 2009. Every day, an estimated 17 million U.S. children rely on school breakfast and lunch programs as their only guaranteed meals. When schools shut down for the summer, federal meal programs feed only about three million, leaving 13 million children at risk for hunger. To help bridge this gap, the Sodexo Foundation, the independent charitable organization of Sodexo, Inc., has provided free lunches to children through its summer feeding program, Feeding Our Future, since 1997. The Sodexo Foundation provides grants to local Sodexo accounts to purchase food for the meals and local Sodexo employees prepare the meals each day.
In addition to Detroit, Feeding Our Future will be providing more than 300,000 summer lunches in 18 other cities in the United States: Atlanta, Ga., Boston, Mass., Buffalo, N.Y., Chattanooga, Tenn., Chicago, Ill., Denver, Colo., Fort Worth, Texas, Honolulu, Hawaii, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, Calif., Miami, Fla., New York, N.Y., Oklahoma City, Okla., San Jose, Calif., St. Cloud, Minn., St. Louis, Mo., Terre Haute, Ind. and Washington, D.C.
Feeding Our Future is a program of the Sodexo Foundation, an independent charitable organization supporting hunger-related initiatives that focus on eliminating the root causes of hunger in the U.S. Sodexo pays all administrative costs of the Foundation to ensure that all money raised is directed to those in need.
For more details, please visit www.helpstophunger.org.
The Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. Programs are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.
Gleaners Community Food Bank
For more than 32 years, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan (Gleaners) has been nourishing the community by feeding hungry people. In 2009 Gleaners distributed more than 30 million pounds of emergency food to over 430 partner soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties. Of every dollar donated, Gleaners uses 96 cents for food and food programs. One dollar provides three meals for a hungry neighbor. Learn more at www.gcfb.org.
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), a member of Sodexo Group, is a leading provider of Comprehensive Service Solutions serving more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care, retirement, schools, higher education, government and remote sites. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., Sodexo, Inc. operates in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with $7.7 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. The Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org) is an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $12.7 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.
SOURCE Sodexo, Inc.