“Food is national security. Food is economy. It is employment, energy, history. Food is everything.” — Chef José Andrés
Food is an integral part of our everyday lives. However, the sad reality for many families is that the ability to provide one of life’s basic necessities to their children is barely, if at all, feasible. While programs put into place during the school year take the strain off of parents and caretakers only about 18 percent of eligible students participate in summer feeding programs according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
In order to aid families during the summertime, Sodexo created Feeding Our Future. Feeding Our Future was initially a small 8 to 12 week summer feeding program that existed in only 3 cities. However, since its creation in 1997, Feeding Our Future has expanded to 23 cities around the U.S. and 9 locations in Canada, providing over 5.6 million meals for children. The program is constantly expanding, with new sites being added every year, allowing more and more children access to free nutritious meals.
Today, Feeding Our Future launches in New Orleans. The program, led by Sodexo’s Dining Services team at Tulane University, is a collaborative effort with the city of New Orleans Recreation Development Commission and the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. More than 23 percent of children in the greater New Orleans area are at risk of hunger; an astonishing 140,000 kids living in low-income households who may not be certain where they will get their next meal once school lets out for the summer. Sodexo’s Feeding Our Future program will provide 12,000 meals to support children in the city of New Orleans this summer at five city community centers- Behrman Park, Gernon Brown Recreation Center, Joe. W. Brown Park, Sanchez Multi-Purpose Center, and St. Bernard Recreation Center. Providing food at these community centers allows children who may not have access to summer camps and USDA meals to have a place to eat.
As Chef José Andrés says, “Food is everything.” By providing food to children in New Orleans and across the country during the summer months, we hope to lay the pivotal groundwork needed for a child’s present and future success.
Patrick Connolly is Chief Executive Officer, Universities Worldwide for Sodexo. He also serves as Regional Head for Universities in North America. Sodexo is the 18th largest employer in the world and the leader in delivering integrated facilities management, foodservice operations and recognition programs in 80 countries. Sodexo’s 420,000 employees provide more than 100 unique services that improve performance for client partners and improve Quality of Life for 75 million consumers every day.
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