SodexoMAGIC and BlueCross Serve Nearly 21,000 Free Summer Lunches through Feeding Our Future®
July 29, 2011
Local organizers host end-of-summer barbeque at Highland Park Boys & Girls Club for youth and celebrate 5th year of the Feeding Our Future® program in Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., July 29, 2011 – Volunteers from SodexoMAGIC, LLC and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will hold an end-of-summer barbeque for Chattanooga youth today, celebrating the service of nearly 21,000 free summer lunches this year funded by a Feeding Our Future® grant from the Sodexo Foundation. Now in its 5th year in Chattanooga and 15th year nationally, 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. The barbeque kicks off at 11:30 a.m. at the Highland Park Boys & Girls Club and will include free drawings for Magic Johnson memorabilia, including an autographed basketball.
"A slow-to-recover economy has only added to an already difficult situation for families that find it hard to put food on the table for their children," said Robert A. Stern, president, the Sodexo Foundation. "Feeding Our Future is just one of many programs the Sodexo Foundation supports – along with partners like BlueCross and The Chattanooga Area Food Bank – to help alleviate some of those pressures, and to ensure that all children have every opportunity for a bright future."
SodexoMAGIC and BlueCross are the lead organizers of the program in Chattanooga, taking responsibility for ordering, preparing, and helping to serve the meals throughout the program which began this year on May 31 and ends July 29. Also playing a vital role in the Chattanooga Feeding Our Future program were volunteers from Inner City Ministries, the Alton Park, East Lake and Highland Park Boys & Girls Clubs.
During the summer, more than 83 percent of children who are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals go without nutritious lunches – that is approximately 15 million children. Even with the existence of federal meal programs, when schools close for the summer, millions of children risk going hungry for lack of dependable access to enough nutritious food. Since 1997, Sodexo has helped provide free lunches nationally to children in order to help bridge this gap, and to date Feeding Our Future has served nearly 74,000 summer meals to children in the city of Chattanooga alone.
"This program supports our outreach efforts to improve the well-being of our fellow Tennesseans and fills a great need for children in our community," said Ryan Picarella, BlueCross manager of corporate wellness.
Now in its 15th year, Feeding Our Future will provide 400,000 summer lunches in 24 cities this summer, including: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, N.Y., Camden, N.J., Chattanooga, Tenn., Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Fort Worth, Texas, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Ind., Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Norfolk, Va., Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Calif., St. Cloud, Minn., St. Louis, Syracuse, N.Y., Terre Haute, Ind. and Washington.
Feeding Our Future is funded by the Sodexo Foundation, the anti-hunger charitable arm of Sodexo, Inc. Sodexo employees work closely with local hunger relief organizations, vendor partners and client accounts to prepare and distribute the meals to children at local feeding sites. This resourceful program donates food and labor necessary to provide summer lunches to children who would otherwise go hungry. Sodexo pays all administrative costs of the Foundation to ensure that all money raised is directed to those in need.
The Sodexo Foundation supports innovative programs to help children and families in the United States who are at-risk of hunger. To make a contribution to the fight against hunger or for more information, please visit www.sodexofoundation.org.
Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc. (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 its 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.
Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions
Quality of Life plays an important role in the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. Based on this conviction, Sodexo is the strategic partner for companies and institutions that place a premium on performance and well-being, as it has since Pierre Bellon founded the company in 1966. Sharing the same passion for service, Sodexo's 380,000 employees, in 80 countries design, manage and deliver an unrivaled range of On-site Service Solutions and Motivation Solutions. Sodexo has created a new form of service business that contributes to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries in which it operates and to the fulfillment of its employees.
Key Figures (as of August 31, 2010)
Sodexo in the World
Sodexo in North America