Sodexo Selected by the University of Maine System to Provide Contract Dining Operations at Six Institutions
February 16, 2016
Increased local sourcing and wellness are key focuses for the company’s planned operations
Gaithersburg, Md. February 16, 2016 - The University of Maine System (UMS), the state’s largest educational enterprise, selected Sodexo, a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations to provide dining hall, retail, and food catering services at six of the system’s seven universities. Through this five-year contract, with option for five one-year renewals, Sodexo will begin managing those services for the UMS starting on July 1, 2016.
It’s clear from our work with nearly 850 colleges and universities throughout North America that the role of dining programs on campus has changed dramatically over the years,” said Pat Connolly, global CEO, Universities, Sodexo. “Innovative dining programs that promote sustainability and local sourcing can be great tools for improving the quality of life on campus, recruiting and retaining the best and brightest students and driving positive growth in local communities and agricultural enterprises.”
Local sourcing was a cornerstone of the UMS RFP as evidenced by the required commitment to source 20% of all food served on campus locally by 2020. Sodexo exceeded the System’s local sourcing goals by pledging to meet the 20% local sourcing requirement by the end of the contract’s first year before expanding to 25%-30% local sourcing system-wide by 2020. For the purposes of this contract, local is defined as being within 175 miles of any campus.
In order to meet local sourcing goals, Sodexo will rely on the considerable resources available to it through the company’s Maine Course program, a statewide initiative launched in June 2015 in order to prioritize serving local and sustainably harvested food at all of the company’s healthcare, education, government, and corporate client sites in Maine.
The Maine Course initiative and its newly hired first director, Maeve McInnis, will build upon Sodexo’s sustainability foundation in the state by working with Maine producers to assist them in understanding and navigating the intricacies of the wholesale market. She will also work with vendors in the supply chain to help them access a larger customer base, like the UMS, through established distribution networks.
“That a proven institutional vendor like Sodexo can commit to sourcing at least 25% of the food it would serve in our dining halls from local sources is a testament to the growing strength and reach of the Maine food economy,” said James H. Page, Chancellor of the University of Maine System. “As a customer, as a research leader, and through our academic and business development programs, Maine’s public universities will continue to contribute to this impressive, job-creating growth.”
In addition to local sourcing, Sodexo is making wellness a key focus in its planned operations at the six UMS campuses included in the contract. A minimum of 55% of the company’s resident dining menus will be made up of Mindful by Sodexo recipes. The Mindful approach focuses on transparency of ingredients, delicious food, satisfying portions and clarity in message so that making Mindful choices becomes second nature.
The company will also focus on providing allergen and food tolerance expertise through certified staff training, dedicated allergen free areas such as My Zone and Simple Servings and cutting-edge technology for nutrition information and tracking methods through our new groundbreaking BITE and MyFitnessPal Apps.
Along with the focus on local sourcing and wellness, Sodexo is also committed to investing in UMS campuses. The company will implement customized transformation plans across the 6 universities that will improve overall student life by making upgrades to campus dining facilities, funding student scholarships and creating more memorable dining experiences from top to bottom.
Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc., 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, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $27 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at SodexoInsights.com. Visit Sodexo on Facebook and follow on Twitter @SodexoUSA.
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