Dining Services, Students Alleviate Hunger in Area Communities
NEW YORK, N.Y.– For the next two months, Sodexo at Fordham University will be busy fixing lunch. The dining services team at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus is once again partnering with City Harvest, a community hunger relief organization, to deliver 300 meals a day to hungry children in New York City.
The rationale of the program, called “Feeding Our Future,” is simple. Although hunger is not an issue on campus, there are many hungry children in nearby neighborhoods. Established by Sodexo in 1996, the program is on the verge of hitting 1 million meals. Although offered in 20 cities around the country, Fordham’s program is the only one in New York City.
Yolanda Balbin, Sodexo Resident Dining Operations Manager, leads the program for the dining services team. Over the course of the summer, the team will prepare an estimated 13,500 meals.
"Being a working single mother myself, this program is very close to my heart as I understand how difficult it can be making your sure child is getting basic nutritional needs met on a daily basis,” said Balbin.“On behalf of Sodexo at Fordham, it is a genuine honor to be a part of this initiative for the past seven years supporting local children in need."
In early July, Sodexo will partner with Fordham University students via the Student Culinary Council for initial launch of the program, involving the entire Fordham community in prepping the first rounds of lunches. The Sodexo team will then continue to carry out the program through July and August.
According to the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, the city faces an increasing crisis of poverty and hunger. This year, an average of 1.5 million New York City residents, 1 in 4 of which are children, live in households facing food insecurity. In the Coalition's latest annual survey of hunger, New York City’s emergency food providers (food pantries, soup kitchens, and brown bag programs) reported a 20.8 percent increase in need for their services, with the fastest growth in demand from families with children.
Research shows that supplemental feeding programs such as Feeding Our Future can help offset threats posed to the child’s capacity to learn and perform in school resulting from under nutrition.
“We’re honored to provide free and nutritious meals to needy children during the summer months,” said Brian Poteat, Sodexo General Manager at Fordham University.“Childhood hunger is a devastating crisis and we are committed to making a positive difference.”
About Sodexo at Fordham University
Sodexo at Fordham University provides a full spectrum of Dining Services on campus and beyond, including involvement in the “Feeding Our Future” program providing over 13,000 free lunches for school-aged children in New York City each summer. In keeping with the University’s commitment to “going green,” Sodexo features tray-less dining, local sourcing, water and electricity conservation, APEX chemicals, purchasing alliances with ecologically sound manufacturers, and farmer’s markets from which proceeds support Urban Gardens in the Bronx.
For more information, visit www.fordham.edu/hospitalityservices
or contact Brian Poteat, Sodexo General Manager at Brian.Poteat@sodexo.com.