Sodexo Foundation Recognizes Executive Chef Manager as a Hero of Everyday Life®

June 14, 2012

Karen A. Peloquin to be honored in Washington, D.C. for fighting hunger in Worcester, Mass.

Sodexo Foundation Recognizes Executive Chef Manager as a Hero of Everyday Life®

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14, 2012 – Most hungry children in the U.S. suffer quietly, and are unnoticed until a teacher or a doctor recognizes their “failure to thrive.” Hungry children are everywhere, in every single corner of America—including Worcester, Mass. The first and most critical step to solving this problem is learning to see it. Karen Peloquin, a resident of Douglas, Mass., not only sees how hunger affects a growing population, she voluntarily works to eliminate it. Tonight, the Sodexo Executive Chef Manager at Sunovion 158 will be recognized as a Hero of Everyday Life® at the 13th Annual Sodexo Foundation Dinner in Washington, D.C. As part of that recognition, Peloquin will receive a $5,000 grant, presented in her name to the hunger-relief charity of her choice, New England Dream Center.

Karen Peloquin understands that it is not always enough to serve food to those in need—sometimes people who are served want a chance to do their part as well. She provides that opportunity through her church and her work of more than four years at the New England Dream Center. While the Worcester, Mass. area center feeds hot meals to about 200 homeless and disadvantaged, Peloquin coordinates the effort so that once the food is prepared, cooks, volunteers, servers and patrons all dine together and socialize as one.

“Karen’s dedication to fighting hunger in the community is more than commendable, it’s a model for us all,” said Robert A. Stern, Chair, Sodexo Foundation. “That one in five children go to bed hungry or spend weekends unsure about the next meal is unthinkable to Karen. It should be for all of us. We all have to roll up our sleeves and take hunger personally.”

In the last two years alone, more than 20,000 meals have been provided in this “self-service” fashion thanks to Peloquin, with recipients feeling like they are also giving back just by doing something as easy as serving coffee to fellow patrons and volunteers. She has been called a “gift” and a “gem” by fellow community leaders who know her work, and her friends and volunteers add that “she does not do volunteer work to make herself feel good or to better her standing—she truly loves the people with whom she is working.”

Peloquin says, “The real shame of hunger is that we waste far too much food for so many to go hungry—in Worcester or anywhere in our country.”

There are more than 16 million children living in America in homes where meals are uncertain. That’s one in five American kids at risk of hunger every day. Tragically, while 22 million kids in the U.S. are eligible for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program, only 3 million of them are aware of or have access to existing free meal programs during weekends and school breaks. The volunteer efforts by Heroes of Everyday Life, like Peloquin, help to bridge that gap.

Sodexo Foundation recognizes Sodexo employees who invest their time, talent, and service spirit in helping those at-risk of hunger in the United States. Nominated by a colleague, friend or employer, selected Heroes are honored at the annual Sodexo Foundation Dinner and receive a $5,000 grant for their hunger-related charity of choice.

Karen A. Peloquin is one of five Heroes of Everyday Life recognized in 2012 by Sodexo Foundation. Others include: Lana M. Kruse of Lake St. Louis, Mo., Diana L. Messett of Mt. Airy, Md., Phyll Dondis Ribakoff of Weston, Mass. and Cynthia L. Steele of Columbia, S.C. 

Sodexo Inc. and Sodexo Foundation work to help end hunger in the United States. Sodexo Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission to end childhood hunger. The foundation works to ensure that every child in the United States, especially those most at-risk, grows up with dependable access to enough nutritious food to enable them to lead a healthy, productive life. Sodexo Foundation cultivates and maintains strategic partnerships with regional and national hunger relief entities and youth mobilization organizations—all part of Sodexo’s STOP Hunger Initiative, its global program to end hunger and malnutrition in the communities where it operates. Sodexo is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md. and funds all administrative costs for Sodexo Foundation, which since 1999 has made more than $17 million in grants to end childhood hunger. Visit for more information.


Sodexo’s STOP Hunger Programs



Impact to Date (as of June 2012)


Sodexo Foundation ………………………………………….

Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship …………….

Heroes of Everyday Life® …………………………………..

Feeding Our Future® ………………………………………..

Sodexo Servathon …………………………………………...

Backpack Food Program ……………………………………



Distributed more than $17 million in grants

Gave $353,000 in scholarships & matching grants

Awarded $478,000 to employees’ hunger charities

Funded more than 2.9 million summer meals

Mobilized 125,000 employees to fight hunger

Funded 70 programs; providing 2 million meals




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