Sodexo Foundation and YSA Work Together to End Hunger
November 16, 2011
Youth-Led Events Target Childhood Hunger during November’s National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week
Washington, DC, November 16, 2011 – Sodexo Foundation and YSA (Youth Service America) have partnered to fund 70 youth-led initiatives to end childhood hunger in the United States, with projects focused on National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, November 12-20.
Sodexo Foundation and YSA are engaging young people through three grants offered year-round:
Sodexo Youth Grants support youth-led service projects that address childhood hunger
Sodexo School Engagement Grants engage teachers and students, grades K-12, in learning about childhood hunger in their community, in leading meaningful activities that facilitate access to nutritious food for all children, and in spreading the word through their community about the problem of childhood hunger
Sodexo Lead Organizer Grants fund local, regional and state youth development organizations that mobilize over 600 youth volunteers beginning this week and culminating on Global Youth Service Day 2012.
Totaling nearly $200,000, these grants call directly upon youth, ages 5-25, to make a tangible and measurable impact on the issue of childhood hunger, educate their peers and the larger community about the problem and secure commitments from others to implementing solutions.
"Childhood hunger is a huge concern in America and links to other serious problems with long-term effects such as obesity and diabetes," said Steve Culbertson, President and CEO of YSA. "YSA and Sodexo Foundation are proud to mobilize children and youth to move beyond meeting immediate needs to implementing solutions through awareness building, advocacy, and community mobilization."
In addition to food drives and fundraising efforts, youth will lead projects to raise awareness and build community support for ending childhood hunger. Young people will host leadership seminars to teach about the problem in their community, create educational videos to air on public television, organize poster contests to display solutions through art, and use social media to engage their peers.
"With more than 16 million children in the U.S. enduring daily uncertainty about the source of their next meal, it will take a creative intergenerational approach to rid our nation of childhood hunger," said Robert A. Stern, president, Sodexo Foundation. "Sodexo Foundation is proud to partner with YSA to mobilize youth, which will give a powerful boost to our efforts to end childhood hunger."
Sodexo Foundation supports innovative programs that fight child hunger in the U.S., several of which engage youth populations. To further this mission, Sodexo Foundation provided funding for a collaborative effort of Share Our Strength and YSA to create an online youth action center: No Kid Hungry 2 (www.NoKidHungry2.org). It also funds the Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship, which is currently taking applications through December 5th and awards five K-graduate student recipients with $5,000 scholarships and matching grants to the hunger-related charities of their choice.
Sodexo, Inc. in North America (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions Company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On Site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Motivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since it's founding in 1999, has made more than $15 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.
Youth Service America (YSA) improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. Founded in 1986, YSA supports a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement. The impact of YSA's work through service and service-learning is measured in student achievement, workplace readiness, and healthy communities. For more information, visit www.YSA.org.
National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, co-sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, occurs each year, one week before Thanksgiving. During this week, schools, communities and cities take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness. For more information, visit http://www.nationalhomeless.org/projects/awareness/.