Have you ever been inspired by an eleven year old? We have. Take a moment to watch this video about a kid whose dream is not to be an astronaut or a professional athlete, but to end hunger!
Will Lourcey is only eleven years old. Already, he has dedicated his time and energy to fighting hunger in his community, and he has made it a life goal to make the world a better place.
But Will is not alone. He was just one of the many inspirational people we were honored to meet at Sodexo Foundation’s 15th annual fundraising event. Among us were many young people and adults, just like Will, who’ve set out to make a difference and who have already made a big impact in their communities. From starting their own programs that fight hunger, to dedicating thousands of hours of their spare time to helping those in need, these individuals truly embody what it means to be Feeding the Movement.
Meredith Gault, Chuck Liedtke, Maude Meade, Jackie Strickland and Mary Koss are just a few Sodexo employees who are passionate about their jobs and about helping people at risk of hunger. Together, they’ve spent thousands upon thousands of volunteer hours, in which they raised money, ran food drives, collected food—their efforts are truly endless, and we were delighted to see them awarded as this year’s Heroes of Everyday Life®.
Just like Will’s inspiring story, Brittany Amano, Maria Belding, Jordan Elist and Natasha Suri are four students of equal inspiration, who’ve set out on a quest to end hunger and spread their message beyond their communities. Take Brittany, for example, whose hunger relief initiative started in Honolulu and has since expanded to 26 states with 400 youth volunteers. Each one of these students has an incredible story, and could not be more deserving of the Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship.
The accomplishments of our Heroes and Scholars in their communities are extraordinary. And each year the amount of people involved—and their dedication and commitment—continues to grow. At the Sodexo Foundation event, we reflected on all the progress made over the past fifteen years since Sodexo Foundation’s inception—more than $22 million in hunger relief grants, 3.7 million pounds of food recovered (through partnerships with The Campus Kitchen Project and Food Recovery Network), over 9 million meals donated (5 million through our Backpack Food Program and another 4 million through Feeding Our Future®)—the list goes on. We are astounded by the $1,086,380 raised at this year’s event. This success would never have come to fruition if it weren’t for our corporate sponsors, donors and the individuals like Will, who are making strides and inspiring other young people to feed the movement and make a brighter future a reality.
Stephen Dunmore is president for the Schools segment at Sodexo, overseeing the work of teams at nearly 500 K-12 partner organizations nationwide. He also serves on the Board of Sodexo Foundation.