Sodexo Foundation

Famers' Markets Grow to Help Underserved Communities

Farmers’ Markets Grow To Help Underserved Communities

Farmers’ markets have gained a mass following in recent years by bringing fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables into cities and towns across the country. Despite this expansion, farmers’ markets and the organic movement have come to be perceived as somewhat inaccessible to a majority of people—merely upscale, luxury alternatives to more conventional stores. While many people, especially those in low-income urban areas and isolated rural communities, remain underserved by these markets, organizations and activists have recently begun to advocate for bringing farm produce into these neglected areas, benefiting both communities and farmers in the process.

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Sodexo Needs “Helping Hands” to Set Food Donation Record

Helping HandsOn November 12, Help Sodexo Break Guinness World RecordTM

What began just four years ago as Sodexo Campus Services’ “Cans Across America” food drive has taken the next great leap forward to become “Helping Hands Across America,” spanning all of Sodexo’s business units in a determined effort to collect and distribute 200 tons of non-perishable food.

On November 12, 2009 Sodexo is aiming to shatter the existing “Guinness World Record for Largest Food Drive by a Non-Charitable Organization in a 24 Hour Period (Multiple Locations)” of 388,381 pounds. Last year, Sodexo’s effort collected close to 370,000 pounds of food, double the previous year’s results, and provided sufficient food for 250 families to enjoy one meal a day for an entire year. The donated food was distributed to food banks, many of those in partnership with the Sodexo Foundation.

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Halloween Means Fun and Philanthropy

In 1950, UNICEF, (The United Nations International Children’s Fund) introduced the now famous Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, a program created, inspired, and empowered by kids who decided to ask for “pennies” in lieu of candy to help children in need each Halloween.

Halloween Means Fun and Philanthropy

Nearly 60 years later, what was once the only such program to help alleviate hunger, has inspired the creation of scores of Halloween-themed hunger relief programs across the country.

In Baltimore, Halloween for Hunger, a student-led food drive, provides literally tons of assistance to the region’s hungry. High schoolers leaflet targeted neighborhoods on October 28, then collect food donations from porches, stoops and steps on Halloween. Local shelters and soup kitchens receive the consolidated donations, which help provide thousands of meals to those in need. In 2008, the students collected and donated more than two tons of food.

Stimulus Package Serves Up Billions in Nutritional Aid

For the millions of Americans concerned about the impact of hunger and poor nutrition on their neighbors, the “Economic Stimulus Package” passed by Congress earlier this year contains much good news in the form of billions of dollars committed to help feed the hungry and improve poor nutrition.

The most robust segments of American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) nutritional programs total more than $20 billion in food aid, dispensed by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), the recipient of more than $19 billion over a five-year span, provides nutrition assistance and education to 32.2 million low-income families and individuals. The funding increase boosts the monthly benefit for a family of four by $80 a month, easing the challenge of creating three healthy meals every day.