TORONTO — As part of its Stop Hunger Foundation, on-site services company, Sodexo, launched its Feeding Our Future summer initiative this week. Feeding Our Future was first introduced 15 years ago with the help of Toronto-based Second Harvest. It’s goal is to provide nutritious meals to children who lack sufficient food at home during the summer months when schools are closed.
“About one million children depend on school lunch programs and many are left to fend for themselves in the summer,” says Barry Telford, president of Sodexo Canada. “Feeding Our Future is a simple, yet powerful, private/public sector partnership that addresses this significant social and health problem. Its success demonstrates what can happen when caring people work together to protect at risk kids against hunger.”
Sodexo’s goal for this summer is to serve 135,000 free lunches to children across nine Canadian cities. The need for this is dire — the 2014 Household Food Insecurity in Canada Report shows one in six Canadian children under the age of 18 live in households that have had difficulties providing nutritious meals.
More than 1,000 Sodexo employees and several of its vendors, clients and community partners have volunteered to prepare the summer lunches, which will consist of sandwiches and healthy snacks. On weekdays, community hunger relief organizations will deliver these lunches to various summer camps for underprivileged children.
The free lunch deliveries start this week and will be provided to the following camps and hunger relief organizations across Canada:
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Vancouver
- Burnside Gorge Community Centre (Victoria)
- Quadra Street Village Centre (Victoria)
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg
- Community Kitchens of Calgary
- Food for Life (Burlington and Oakville)
- Second Harvest (Toronto)
- Ottawa Food Bank
- Moisson Montreal
- Feed Nova Scotia (Halifax)
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, together with its numerous partners, will also be hosting barbecue parties for children.
“It is always powerful when like-minded partners come together to take action on an issue,” says Debra Lawson, executive director of Second Harvest. “Second Harvest is proud of its partnership with Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation and the joint efforts literally ‘Feeding Our Future’ in Canada. Together, we understand hunger never takes a vacation. That’s why this program is vital to communities across the country.”