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Sodexo’s Summer Food Service Program is on the Way!

We are proud to announce that, as it has been the case since 1994, Sodexo’s Summer Food Service once again will provide FREE lunches to students in Rhode Island’s Providence, Pawtucket, West Warwick, Woonsocket, and Cranston school districts.

Here is a spreadsheet listing “open sites” – including launch dates, locations, and service hours – at which anyone 18 and under can enjoy a delicious, nutritious lunch ON US! No charge. No hassle. Just great food, good times, and wonderful opportunities to make new friends.

For nearly two decades this federally-funded program has helped empower the work of the Sodexo Foundation 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.

Every day, Sodexo serves hundreds of thousands of nutritious meals. Yet according to the USDA, across our nation 50 million people are at risk of hunger, including more than16 million children. That represents one in five children that face hunger – preventing them from reaching their full potential. As the leading provider of Quality of Life Services, fighting hunger is the focus of our community service efforts. As part of Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow commitments, our STOP Hunger program mobilizes entire Sodexo communities, including employees, consumers, clients and suppliers to join forces to make a difference and end hunger.

Sodexo’s STOP Hunger program spans across 6 continents in 42 Sodexo host countries. To date, Sodexo’s Summer Food Service in Rhode Island has served tens of thousands of free lunches to tens of thousands of the children whose nutritional needs are our greatest concern. The same diverse, healthy choices we offer during the school year are prepared during vacation months. And here in the Ocean State, they include locally grown blueberries, strawberries, carrots, apples, peaches ... for starters!

Thanks to Sodexo, what’s happening in Rhode Island is happening across America. Hunger, as we all know too well, does not recognize lines on a map.

Hunger also refuses to recognize the seasons. Sodexo’s responsibilities to our “clients for life” do not end when summer vacation begins. For all of us, our Summer Food Service is a matter of necessity, a matter of honor, and a matter of simple common sense.

And so our Summer Food Service is ready to keep you healthy all summer!

Fighting Hunger Banner

Hunger continues to be an issue in the U.S. with more than 50 million people at risk of hunger, and more than 16 million of them being children. The statistics are no less severe in the state of Rhode Island where, according to Feeding America, 21.5% of children in the state are food insecure – that’s nearly 48,000 children who don’t always know where the next meal will come from.

Work by Sodexo and its non-profit charitable arm, Sodexo Foundation, to fight childhood hunger in America supports our larger focus on improving quality of life. Examples of local impact include more than 21 Sodexo Foundation grants that have gone to Rhode Island hunger-related organizations since 2001. Here are three recent examples of Sodexo’s commitment to fighting childhood hunger in Rhode Island.

Sodexo Servathon

Sodexo’s Commitment to Fighting Childhood Hunger in Rhode Island Because of Sodexo’s commitment to ending childhood hunger, many of its employees fight hunger throughout the year. In an effort to encourage this type of ongoing community service, Servathon functions as a yearly reminder of the need that exists. Servathon is Sodexo’s largest employee engagement initiative in North America and around the world. Every April Sodexo encourages employees to volunteer in community service projects that take action against hunger. Volunteers can dedicate a few minutes, a few hours or an entire day. Last year 40,000 employees in 35 countries got involved in the fight against hunger.

Starting in 2013, Sodexo is asking employees to include youth in these service efforts.

Sodexo Backpack Food Program

Sodexo’s Backpack Food Program is one of the company’s key initiatives for fighting childhood hunger in the communities we serve. Although the USDA’s National School Lunch Program provides free and reduced-price meals for students during the week, many children struggling with hunger don’t have access to nutritious meals over weekends. Sodexo’s Backpack Food Program provides students and their families the food they need over the course of a weekend.

Through this program, Sodexo team members in school districts fills backpacks with nutritious foods and hand them out to participating students on Friday afternoons. Sodexo manages and maintains weekend Backpack Food Programs in districts nationwide, including Cranston Public Schools, Providence Public Schools and Woonsocket Public Schools.

The recent generous donation from Sysco Boston LLC and its President Fred Casinelli to Sodexo’s Backpack Food Program locations in those three Rhode Island districts is a perfect example of how Sodexo and its partner organizations can fight childhood hunger and improve the quality of life for the people we serve. Mr. Casinelli and Sysco Boston donated an amazing 50 bulk cases of eight different items totaling 400 actual cases of food. This huge donation, the largest of its kind to the Sodexo Backpack Program in Rhode Island, fully stocked the programs in all three participating school districts for a full three months! This donation and many others like it, combined with the passion and dedication of Sodexo’s local teams, are already making a significant impact on the students and communities both companies serve in Rhode Island.

Sodexo Summer Feeding Programs

In addition to the Backpack Food Program, Sodexo also manages and maintains programs to provide nutritious meals to students struggling with hunger in summer months, including its own Feeding Our Future initiative. In Rhode Island, Sodexo manages dozens of summer feeding programs.

Recently, six high school students from Woonsocket Public Schools went above and beyond to support their community by helping keep the city of Woonsocket’s summer feeding program alive. Funds to run the program were short throughout 2012, so the city asked Sodexo to work with schools to identify community service volunteers to help staff the program. Six students from Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center stepped up and worked tirelessly to keep the program running. Thanks to their direct efforts, Sodexo served more than 9,200 nutritious meals to city children throughout the summer.

View the Hunger Fact Sheet as a PDF.

Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act

As you may have heard, for the first time in 15 years, the USDA has made significant changes to school meals in an effort to curb childhood obesity.  In December of 2010 the Healthy, Hunger-free Kid’s Act was passed into law.  In January of 2012 the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the final meal pattern requirements that are mandated by that law. 

What does this mean for us? We want to provide you with the best possible healthy meal, so many of these “new” requirements are already in place.  We offer a great selection of fruits and vegetables throughout the week.  You have already seen low fat and no fat milk in our schools.  You may know that all of our sandwiches are made using whole grain and whole wheat breads, and that we are serving brown rice and other whole grain items.  Our menus have always been analyzed to make sure that we are in compliance with the Dietary Guidelines and USDA regulations.

Please see the following for more insight of what changes will be made:

 

Even as we acknowledge the achievements of the past, we focus on the future with renewed commitment to the well-being of our most precious commodity: our children. Welcome to the all new SodexoRI.com, a website dedicated to Health, Nutrition and Community for Rhode Island. Sodexo has created this website as a tool to support student wellness.

As this website develops, we shall catalogue the many ways we have grown and prospered together. You will read about the special nutritional, social, and educational programs created as manifestations of our commitment to the children and communities we embrace as our “clients for life.”

We envision SodexoRI.com as a support for the excellent work our communities and school districts do every day to bring health, wellness and education to our state’s children. SodexoRI.com is your source for news, menus and innovation for schools in our state.

Information about programs and services offered in your city or town is available at your community’s website. Please click on the links on the left hand side of this page to learn more.

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