Sodexo Foundation Honors Waterville-Area Volunteer for Fighting Hunger in the Local Community
May 30, 2013
Colby College operations manager, Joe Klaus, earns recognition for stemming hunger among the area’s children and families.
GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 29, 2013 — Sodexo Foundation announced today that Sodexo employee Joe Klaus, an operations manager at Colby College, has been named a 2013 Hero of Everyday Life for his ongoing work to fight hunger in the local community. In honor of his volunteer service, Klaus will receive a $5,000 grant presented in his name to the hunger-related charity of his choice, the Greater Waterville Area Food Bank. In addition, the Oakland, Me. resident and one guest will receive a three-day, all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., where Klaus is to be formally recognized for his 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 Waterville area nearly 25 percent of children are considered “food-insecure” according to the most recent figures from Feeding America. Klaus has worked to reduce these numbers through a number of activities. As a member of Maine’s Harvest for Hunger he secured 300,000 pounds of fresh produce for local food pantries. He also manages a school garden that he created in 2008, which yields some 1,500 pounds of produce each year for local food pantries and homeless shelters. Klaus also has prepared and served about 6,000 meals to the hungry at a local homeless shelter.
“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.”
In addition to providing meals for children and their families, Klaus also taught community members about nutrition, food preparation, budgeting and shopping through Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters® program. He remains passionate about empowering families to cost-effectively access healthy meals, and is disturbed by the extent of food waste when there are so many are in need.
“It’s just tragic that 40% of all food grown or raised in the U.S. is not eaten,” said Klaus. “It’s both a terrible shame and an incredible opportunity when you consider the families and children not certain about the source of their next meal.”
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.