Sodexo Foundation Honors Washington-Area Volunteer for Fighting Hunger in the Local Community
May 30, 2013
George Mason University marketing coordinator, Daliana Gandarillas, earns recognition for fighting hunger in the streets and neighborhoods of the nation’s capital.
GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 29, 2013 — Sodexo Foundation announced today that Sodexo employee Daliana Gandarillas, a marketing coordinator at George Mason University, has been named a 2013 Hero of Everyday Life for her work fighting hunger in the local community. In honor of her volunteer service, Gandarillas will receive a $5,000 grant presented in her name to the hunger-related charity of her choice, Reach and Touch Ministries. The Alexandria, Va. resident and one guest will receive a three-day, all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., where Gandarillas is to be formally recognized for her efforts on June 6th at the 14th Annual Sodexo Foundation Dinner.
Nationally, hunger continues to affect more than 50 million people – 16 million of them being children. In the nation’s capital, where Gandarillas trys to reduce these numbers, nearly 31 percent of children are considered “food-insecure” according to the most recent figures from Feeding America. Gandarillas prepares and cooks hot meals at a local church every week and twice each month on Saturdays she helps a local shelter serve breakfast. She also provides hot dinners to people on the streets of Washington two Sundays per month.
“Volunteer efforts like these are essential in helping to improve quality of life for those in our communities – particularly at this time of year,” said Robert A. Stern, chair, Sodexo Foundation. “According to a recent survey, 43 percent of low-income families already struggling to put a meal on the table are faced with food budgets that can increase by an estimated $300 per month when school lets out.”
To date, Gandarillas has served approximately 14,400 meals to the homeless, and another 21,600 to the hungry at a local church. In addition, she has led large groups of volunteers to serve an annual Thanksgiving meal to those in need. Reflecting on her experience she observes, “After serving thousands of hot meals to some of the most precious people, the homeless, its challenged me to look at my life differently and to better consider what others might be going through.”
Sodexo employees who invest their time, talent, and service spirit in helping those at-risk of hunger in the United States are recognized annually by Sodexo Foundation as Heroes of Everyday Life. Nominees are evaluated on demonstrated impact, level of positive influence on local communities, the number of people affected, ability to engage others in the fight against hunger and, the degree of innovation and educational value. To date, Sodexo Foundation has awarded 108 honorees with grants for their hunger-related charities totaling $508,000. See the full list of 2013 Sodexo Heroes of Everyday Life at www.SodexoFoundation.org.
As the leading provider of Quality of Life services, fighting hunger is the focus of Sodexo’s community service efforts. It also supports our Better Tomorrow commitments and STOP Hunger program, which mobilizes entire Sodexo communities, including employees, consumers, clients, and suppliers to help end hunger.
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Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Life services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $20 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at blogs.sodexousa.com.
Founded in 1966 by Pierre Bellon, Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance. Operating in 80 countries, Sodexo serves 75 million consumers each day through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Through its more than 100 services, Sodexo provides clients an integrated offering developed over more than 45 years of experience: from reception, safety, maintenance and cleaning, to foodservices and facilities and equipment management; from Meal Pass, Gift Pass and Mobility Pass benefits for employees to in-home assistance and concierge services. Sodexo’s success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business model and its ability to continuously develop and engage its 420,000 employees throughout the world.