Partnering with Sodexo enables our clients to focus on their core mission, education, as we focus on improving the Quality of Life of your students, staff and community by providing holistic well-being solutions.

Sodexo in the News

March 2016 - Sodexo Recognized by Women's Empowerment Principals for Championing Gender Equality

New York, March 16, 2016 - In observance of International Women’s Day, over 300 leaders from business, civil society, government and the United Nations (UN) gathered at UN Headquarters in New York City for the 2016 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) event.

Since 2013, the WEPs Annual Event has included the announcement of the WEPs CEO Leadership Awards, saluting five exceptional CEOs for championing gender equality and the 7 WEPs Principles, in particular Principle One, which urges CEOs to lead by example. 
Michel Landel, Chief Executive Officer, Sodexo and Janet Awad, Regional Chair of Latin America and Country President, Sodexo Chile, were awarded with the 7 Principles WEPs CEO Leadership Award, which recognizes a company for for their demonstrated commitment to and implementation of policies that advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

In particular, the UN acknowledged the Sodexo Women's International Forum for Talent (SWIFt), which underpins Sodexo's strategy for improving the group's gender balance. Launched 2009 by Michel Landel, SWIFt comprises 35 senior managers representing 15 different nationalities and all the Company’s business segments, and aims to increase the number of women in senior positions. SWIFt makes practical suggestions that have led to the progress now recognized by the French Ministry of Women's Rights.

"Gender balance and, even more so, diversity, are sources of richness, creativity and improved collective performance. I am proud of the work accomplished at Sodexo and remain steadfast in my commitment to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles, foster a culture of inclusion and serve as an advocate for gender equality within our industry and for the clients and communities we serve," said Sodexo CEO, Michel Landel.

Janet Awad, Region Chair of Latin America and Country President, Sodexo Chile added, "Sodexo is guided by the vision that to create lasting value, organizations must place people at the center of their thinking. This belief has become the foundation of our gender balance strategy. By tapping into the full potential of both women and men, we are stronger, more innovative and better at serving our 75 million consumers each day worldwide."

In addition to the programs established through SWIFt, Sodexo also announced its commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to spend $1 billion in goods and services with small and medium sized businesses, including 1,500 women owned businesses. Examples of how Sodexo is engaged in these community partnerships to empower women include:

  • In Colombia: Working closely with the government and civic groups, Sodexo is helping to train former FARC soldiers and find them employment options that bring them back into the workforce. Around 300 people, one third of them women, have taken part in the program and joined the workforce. 
  • In Peru: Sodexo has implemented programs in six regions that provide training on hospitality and development of maintenance skills. Around 1,500 community members have benefited from this effort, of which 1,000 of the participants were hired by Sodexo, half of them women.

January 2016 - Lorna C. Donatone to Lead Sodexo's Business in North America and its Sodexo Schools Operations Globally

Gaithersburg, Md., January 19, 2016 - Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, has announced that Lorna C. Donatone was appointed Sodexo Region Chair for North America and CEO of Schools worldwide.

In her new role, Donatone will oversee 133,000 employees and all Sodexo business in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. As CEO of Schools worldwide, she is responsible for a business segment with more than 3,500 client sites in 42 countries and €1.5 billion in revenue.

Donatone first joined Sodexo in 1999 and has held several key leadership roles in the company, including most recently the position of chief operating officer and president of Sodexo Education in the U.S. In that capacity, she led Sodexo's business at nearly 500 public school districts and more than 850 college and university campuses, overseeing more than 70,000 employees.

She began her career in public accounting with Deloitte & Touche in Dallas, Texas, and has worked in the airline, banking and high-tech industries. Donatone has a Bachelor of Science in Management from Tulane University in New Orleans and a Master’s in Business Administration from Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Active in the industry, Donatone has served as a board member of the National Restaurant Association since 2005 and became a trustee of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation in 2011, where she is currently Chair of the Board. She was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees for The Culinary Institute of America in 2008 and is past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Women's Foodservice Forum. Donatone also chairs the Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business International Board of Visitors and is a member of the Tulane University Business School Council. 

November 2015 - Sodexo Earns 100 percent on Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 14th Annual Scorecard and Recognition as Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality

GAITHERSBURG, Md., November 18, 2015 - Sodexo, a leader in delivering integrated facilities management and food service operations, earned a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality. The survey is administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. 

Among its industry-leading efforts, Sodexo provides equivalent spousal and same-sex partner benefits, offers medical coverage for gender affirmation surgery and recognizes sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in its Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. The company also sponsors an LGBT employee business resource group and actively engages LGBT-certified vendors as part of its supplier diversity program. In addition, Sodexo continues to develop its managers to be more inclusive through innovative, award-winning resources like the LGBT Conversation Guide. 

“American workers still lack reliable employment protections in 29 states due to their sexual orientation; 32 states because of gender identity,” said George Chavel, president and CEO, Sodexo. “While the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation and gender identity protections in their workplace policies, too many businesses do not, or they operate in states where such protections do not currently exist.”

Sodexo has committed its support for the passage of the Equality Act. The Equality Act is legislation proposed in the United States Congress that would establish explicit, permanent protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service.

The 2016 CEI rated 1,027 businesses in the report, which evaluates LGBT-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBT community. Sodexo’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria resulted in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.

For more information on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit hrc.org/cei. 

September 2015 - Back to the Roots & Sodexo, Partner to Undo Food in Thousands of Schools Nationwide, Bringing Education and Gardens into the Classroom

Back to the Roots 3Today, Back to the Roots®, a Bay Area food start-up and one of Forbes’ 25 Most Innovative Consumer Brands, and Sodexo, a Global Fortune 500 leader in facilities management and foodservice operations, announced a partnership to expand on the company’s unique mission to Undo Food™. The partnership will focus on bringing fun, Ready to Grow classroom products, and simpler, more flavorful, and more nutritious Ready to Eat food to thousands of Sodexo locations nationwide. Efforts will begin immediately in K-12 schools across the United States, and ultimately be made available to universities, hospitals and corporate offices as well. This partnership will have a direct and immediate impact on youth education via nutrition awareness and encouragement of healthy lifestyle adoption given the easy, hands-on learning opportunities created by Back to the Roots and the reach of Sodexo, which serves nearly three million meals per day to students at almost 500 school districts. 

To kick off the partnership, Back to the Roots and Sodexo are supplying 2,300 schools across the United States with the Back to the Roots Garden Toolkit – including the Organic Mushroom Mini Farm, Garden-in-a-Can (organic basil & cilantro), and Water Garden (classroom aquaponics kit). This fall teachers will be able to use the Garden Toolkit and associated curriculum to help their students rediscover the origin of food. As the gardens are harvested over the next five years, they will deliver up to a half million pounds of food. Schools will use part of the harvest for instruction and make the rest available for donation to local community food banks.

“The impact of the school gardening concept is undeniable, with some programs reporting increases on standardized testing and others citing more than 90 percent improvement in student engagement around gardening programs,” said Scott Loretan, global head of marketing, Sodexo Schools. However, the prevalence of these programs is less common in schools with economically disadvantaged student populations. This program will bring the garden opportunity to all students, teaching them lessons in sustainability and wellness right there in the classroom; taking ‘locally sourced’ to a whole new level.”

Sodexo will also be exploring new product offerings for its school districts later this year with the Back to the Roots Organic Stoneground Flakes breakfast cereals. The cereals are the first 100 percent stoneground breakfast cereals on the market—keeping the entire grain intact during the milling process – and use entirely identity preserved, U.S. grown, organic, and non-gmo grains. Sodexo and Back to the Roots will initially launch with three flavors—each made with just four ingredients or less—California Whole Wheat, Purple Corn, and Cocoa Clusters.

“What’s so exciting to us is that this partnership isn’t just about what we have now but also about what we’re going to develop together in the future,” say co-founders Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez. “Sodexo is committed to our mission to Undo Food™ and in partnership with their large, passionate network of team members, we have the chance to rapidly improve the food system for millions of kids across the country.”

“Our school district partners have told us they need high-quality, ‘clean’ foods, and working with Back to the Roots is a huge step forward in helping meet that need while also supporting the actual education process,” added Loretan.

August 2015 - Back to School, Back to the Basics: Students Return to California-Centric K12 Lunch Options at School

GAITHERSBURG, Md., August 28, 2015 - As students in California head back to school this month, they will be introduced to a fresh philosophy in the cafeteria – a host of brand-new menu additions developed by local Sodexo chefs in response to changing palettes and student requests for more vegetarian and ethnic cuisine options. New choices include Black Bean and California Rice Salad Shaker, hand rolled burritos and Sriracha Cheese Wrap. The main focus is on locally-grown and sourced ingredients, healthier options and made-from-scratch cooking.

Sodexo is launching its “Think [CA]” program this month in 41 school districts statewide. The California-specific program places an added emphasis on fresh and healthy options for students by leveraging the state’s bounty of locally-grown produce and ingredients throughout the menu.

“The focus of Sodexo’s Think [CA] program is to cultivate life-long healthy eating habits for our students. It’s the scale of our operations and scope of our local supplier network that allow us to readily provide the freshest product to our clients and their customers,” said Jude Medeiros, Sodexo regional vice president. “Sodexo’s Schools division in California spends $48 million annually, including more than $15 million worth of fresh produce that is grown in the state.”

This new emphasis on utilizing California-sourced ingredients means that Sodexo is purchasing the following for the California schools they serve:
  • 100% of the fresh dairy is from California farmers and manufacturers
  • 100% of the fresh bakery items are both made in California and delivered by California companies
  • 80% of all fresh produce is California-grown
In addition to a more robust use of California-sourced ingredients, the newly-revised menus include a focus on fewer processed ingredients and fresh preparation methods. Schools will now serve nitrate-free lunch meats, all natural cheeses, made-from-scratch salad dressings, and entrees made from seven ingredients or less. 

“We want parents to know that Sodexo is their partner in ensuring that their children have healthy, delicious meals at school, but more importantly, we’re working alongside parents to help kids learn to make nutritious choices,” said Medeiros. “Healthy kids become high-performing students. Think [CA] will help them do that.”

July 2015 - Forbes - The Localization of Globalization: Sodexo Does it All

Do you know who landscapes more than 1,500 acres of land at Stonehenge? Or who is the only company in the world with operations on both the North and South poles? Or who set the record for the world’s largest restaurant operation in history, feeding 3 million people, three meals a day, during World Youth Day for the Vatican? 

The answer to all of these is Sodexo. Never heard of them? You soon will. According to Gerri Mason Hall, Sodexo is one of the best kept secrets going. And Hall would know. She is senior vice president 
and chief human resources officer for the company’s North American operations. 

Sodexo provides integrated facilities management and food service operations to business, health care, education, remote sites, vending and government clients around the globe. As the world’s 18th largest employer, it operates in 80 countries providing more than 100 technical services that improve performance and contribute to a better quality of life for 75 million customers every day. 

Until recently, Sodexo, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, has called little attention to itself. Working as a partner with clients, the company integrated its services more or less into others’ brand identities. But with its own rapid expansion, focus on globally inclusive leadership and plans for a more consumer-facing brand identity, Sodexo has begun to step into view withan increased emphasis on building its reputation and expanding its visibility.

April 2015 - Sodexo, Inc. Ranks #5 on the 2015 Diversity Inc. Top 50 Companies for Diversity

NEW YORK, NY, April 24, 2015 - On April 23, during diversity and inclusion’s keystone event at Cipriani Wall Street, Diversity Inc. announced Sodexo came in #5 on its 2015 Top 50 Companies for Diversity ranking. They also ranked on Diversity Inc.’s specialty lists for diversity councils, mentoring, global diversity, disabilities and recruitment. More than 900 senior executives from across the country were present for the annual announcement dinner.
   
“A focus on using diversity metrics to improve recruitment, talent development and customer relations keeps Sodexo in the top five for the sixth year in a row,” said Luke Visconti, CEO at Diversity Inc. "President and CEO George Chavel and Global Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Rohini Anand lead a comprehensive initiative that includes a first-rate cross-cultural mentoring initiative.”
   
Diversity Inc. Top 50 companies have significantly more diversity than average American corporations. Compared with EEOC statistics, Top 50 companies have 20% more Blacks, Latinos, and Asians in management, and 13% more women. In the Top 10 the contrast is even sharper, with 41% more Blacks, Latinos, and Asians, and 46% more women than US corporate average. This year, for the first time, the National Organization on Disability tracker was required for the Top 10 Disabilities list.

CNBC covered the Diversity Inc. Top 50 event and provided the stock market econometric evaluation. “The Top 50 list outperformed the market on a short and long-term basis - which has been the case over the past several years. This shows evidence of the link between excellence in diversity management and superior corporate governance,” said Visconti.

Any company with over 1,000 U.S.-based employees is eligible to enter, and there is no cost to compete. Each company’s rank is based on objective analysis of 183 separate factors, based on data from a 300-question survey. The four equally weighted areas of measurement include Talent Pipeline, Equitable Talent Development, CEO/Leadership Commitment, and Supplier Diversity.
   
“Our expertise at Sodexo is improving individual, organizational, and community performance. As the world’s 18th largest employer, we are committed to workforce development and achieve this by honing the best talent, and building diverse and inclusive teams. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion remains a competitive advantage in the marketplace and continues to strengthen our position as a global leader of quality of life services,” explained George Chavel, president and CEO Sodexo North America.
   
The announcement dinner included a keynote address from Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., whose Rainbow PUSH Coalition has been calling on the tech industry to embrace more diversity as a business opportunity.
   
For the entire Top 50 list, visit diversityinc.com/top50 or follow the conversation online with the hashtag #DITop50.
   
The Diversity Inc. Top 50 Companies for Diversity Announcement Dinner was made possible thanks to the following sponsors: Abbott, ADP, AT&T, Caterpillar, Cox Communications, CVS Health, Deloitte, EMC, EY, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Marriott International, MasterCard, Monsanto, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prudential Financial, Sodexo, Target, TD Bank, Time Warner, Toyota Motor North America, and Wells Fargo.

March 2015 - Sodexo's Lorna Donatone Honored with Prestigious Fritzi Pikes Woods Trailblazer Award at 2015 WFF Annual Leadership Development Conference

The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), the industry’s premier leadership development organization, honored Lorna C. Donatone, Chief Operating Officer and President, Sodexo Education, with the Fritzi Pikes Woods Trailblazer Award during the 2015 Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The Trailblazer Award honors an individual who is dedicated to improving the foodservice industry through her support of gender diversity. The award acknowledges Donatone for her authenticity, individuality and consistent effort in creating opportunity for employees to excel in their careers.  

“Trailblazing takes courage, a relentless pursuit of a passion and the character to withstand adversity,” said Hattie Hill, WFF President and CEO. “Through her passion and commitment to advancing women leaders, Lorna has created significant new pathways that have benefited both Sodexo and the foodservice industry as a whole.”

Donatone is a founding member of SWIFT (Sodexo’s Women’s International Forum for Talent), creator of Sodexo’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) where employees enjoy networking, learning, visibility and opportunities to impact business results and get involved in the community.

Under Donatone’s leadership, Sodexo Education has solid representation of women across the ranks: 45% are executives, 38% are leaders and 23% are in P&L roles.

“What a great honor it is to be selected for this distinguished award,” said Donatone. “I have been fortunate throughout my career to spearhead new approaches and solutions that help women and men gain new perspectives on career possibilities.” 

Donatone is an industry leader and demonstrates her commitment through community involvement.  She has served as a board member of the National Restaurant Association since 2005 and is currently vice chair and trustee of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Donatone is past chair of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum and was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees for The Culinary Institute of America in 2008. She also previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for Entertainment Cruises and was most recently elected to the Board of Directors of Jamba Juice, Inc.  Donatone has also been recognized by NAFEM with a doctorate in foodservice, by w2wlink.com with an Ascendancy Award for her work in mentoring women and by Girls, Inc. for her work in empowering young women.

February 2015 - Sodexo Expands Ongoing Commitment to More Humane Supply Chain through its Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy

GAITHERSBURG, Md., February 19, 2015 - Sodexo takes additional steps within its animal welfare policy in U.S. operations today, outlining a phased approach to sourcing poultry, beef and veal from suppliers and fostering improved animal well-being through its supply chain. In a move lauded by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Sodexo specifically announced that it will eliminate the use of veal crates from its supply chain by 2017 and extend its previous commitments to source all of its shell eggs from cage-free systems by now moving to source all of its liquid eggs solely from cage-free hens by the end of 2020.

“By committing to source all egg products exclusively from cage-free hens, Sodexo has built on an already strong set of animal welfare policies, with this latest pledge affecting the removal of 750,000 hens annually from extreme confinement in battery cage systems,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO, the Humane Society of the United States. “We appreciate the company’s prior commitments to source shell eggs from cage-free operations and its pork from producers who do not use gestation crates. But today’s announcement is surely one of the biggest decisions in the food sector from an animal welfare perspective.”

Every year, more than 60 billion animals are raised worldwide for food. The intensity and level of magnitude involved with animal production tends to create pressure for efficiencies, but unfortunately they are too often associated with significant and widespread animal welfare concerns. Appropriate animal husbandry practices from transportation, to housing, feeding and veterinary care play a key role in reducing those concerns.

Sodexo’s Global Animal Welfare Policy provides general guidelines and standards, which are often exceeded in U.S. operations. “With an annual spend of nearly $900 million on animal proteins in the U.S., Sodexo has established sustainable purchasing practices with suppliers that drive humane treatment of animals throughout our supply chain,” said Deborah Hecker, vice president, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Sodexo. “We see animal welfare, including these new measures for cage-free eggs and crate-free veal, as a key component of a sustainable supply chain alongside food safety, food security, nutrition and science-based environmental practices.”

Sodexo currently sources about 20 million pounds of liquid eggs annually, from 750,000 egg-laying hens. It will now move to sourcing liquid eggs only from cage-free hens with a phased-in approach that will be complete by the end of 2020. The company’s 2012 commitment to eliminate gestation crates from the pork supply chain by 2022 remains intact.

In a series of next steps to protect and promote improved treatment of farm animals, Sodexo also is committed to working with suppliers to ensure the use of pain relief protocols, particularly as it relates to de-horning, castration and tail-docking procedures, which the company is working to eliminate.

Sodexo first reinforced its commitment to conducting business in a responsible and sustainable manner in 2009 by launching the Better Tomorrow Plan—its global roadmap to sustainability. That plan specifically called on the company to work with its suppliers to improve animal welfare in all the countries where it operates by 2015. In line with its ongoing progress, Sodexo continues to require passing scores on annual third-party animal welfare audits from its fully integrated suppliers.

For a company with operations in 80 countries at more than 32,700 sites, addressing animal welfare is a tremendous undertaking, largely due to the complexities of a global supply chain and differences in agriculture practices around the world. Despite the challenges, building valued partnerships with affected suppliers, leading authorities and credible organizations like HSUS is instrumental in achieving progress and educating stakeholders about the issue.

While the work is not yet complete, Sodexo is proud of the advances it continues to make and the recognition it has achieved. This month, for example, Sodexo was ranked for the eighth consecutive year as the best-performing company for economic, social and environmental performance in the benchmark RobecoSAM Sustainability Yearbook 2015, earning it Industry Leader and Gold Class recognition. The industry award specifically calls out a concern for animal welfare and ethical sourcing as driving factors for global supply chains.

October 2014 - Sodexo Recognized as Top Company in Diversity for Pioneering Efforts in Cross-Cultural Mentoring

GAITHERSBURG, Md. - October 22, 2014 - DiversityInc announced yesterday that Sodexo has earned its 2014 Mentoring award. The honor was presented at a conference and special awards dinner at the New York City Marriott Marquis on October 21st. George Chavel, Sodexo president and CEO, accepted the award before an audience of top executives from some of the largest and most successful companies operating in the United States.

“There is no question as to the value of corporate mentoring programs. 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies are using them to increase employee retention and workplace productivity,” said George Chavel, president and CEO, Sodexo. “Diversity mentoring in particular creates an environment of trust like no other, where employees are equally empowered to voice concerns and contribute breakthrough ideas.”

According to DiversityInc, Sodexo earned this honor by being a pioneer of formal, cross-cultural mentoring, with its Impact program demonstrating effective implementation, metrics and results that are often models for other companies. Top executives are required to be mentors as part of their compensation-based performance reviews, and more than 60 percent of mentoring pairs are cross-cultural. Mentors receive cultural-awareness training, including LGBT, disability and veterans’ issues. The mentoring programs last for a year and are fully assessed. Sodexo also has peer-to-peer mentoring managed directly by its employee resource groups. In addition, Sodexo’s Spirit of Mentoring Bridge Programs pair newly hired and frontline managers in further efforts to expand professional development.

The full list of this year’s award recipients by category include:

  • Diversity-Management Progress: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

  • Inclusive Culture: MasterCard Worldwide

  • Mentoring: Sodexo

  • Diversity Councils: EY

  • Supplier Diversity: Wyndham Worldwide

  • Employee Resource Groups: Merck & Co.
  • Global Diversity: Accenture


September 2014 - Record Achievement in Youth Engagement and Community Impact Brings Renewal of Sodexo Foundation Partnership with Share Our Strength

GAITHERSBURG, Md. - September 18, 2014, Sodexo Foundation, the nonprofit charitable arm of Sodexo, today renewed its partnership with Share Our Strength in the fight against childhood hunger in America. The organization’s exceptional ability to mobilize youth through campaigns like No Kid Hungry and the Youth Ambassadors Program helped reaffirm Sodexo Foundation’s commitment to the partnership, which includes $3.25 million in funding for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign over the next three years.

Sodexo Foundation has supported Share Our Strength since 2003 in efforts to eliminate childhood hunger through targeted funding of nutrition programs, nationwide youth engagement activities and special grants for innovation projects to develop effective solutions that help end childhood hunger.  With the support of Sodexo Foundation, the No Kid Hungry campaign has reached major milestones, such as connecting children across the country with millions of nutritious meals since the launch of the No Kid Hungry campaign and creating online platforms like NoKidHungry2.org and Generation No Kid Hungry to build awareness of child hunger issues and address barriers affecting participation through youth engagement.

“Using a business-like, strategic approach to fighting hunger, Share Our Strength constantly yields impact from advocacy,” said Robert A. Stern, chair, Sodexo Foundation. “The No Kid Hungry initiative, which Sodexo Foundation supported from the beginning, has provided more than 107 million meals to kids. In addition, it eagerly took up the challenge of involving youth in driving awareness and increasing participation in supplemental nutrition programs. That disciplined approach to delivering measurable outcomes made it an easy decision for us to continue the partnership.”

Sodexo Foundation’s 3 year commitment to Share Our Strength will support:

Investment in the national capacity of the No Kid Hungry campaign and the infrastructure of Share Our Strength.
Enhanced efforts to meet national goals for access to supplemental nutrition programs, with added support in Arkansas and Maryland. 
Increased engagement of youth in addressing childhood hunger and building awareness around the issue.

The No Kid Hungry campaign celebrates the belief that everyone has strength to share in helping end childhood hunger in America," said Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength. "Our friends at the Sodexo Foundation epitomize this through their generous support of the No Kid Hungry campaign - especially in their efforts to empower today's youth as the generation that will help make No Kid Hungry a reality.”

YOUTH AMBASSADORS RECOGNIZED ON CAPITOL HILL 
Teenagers volunteer 2.4 billion hours annually, worth $34.3 billion to the U.S. economy. The No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador Program exemplifies the impact that next generation youth leaders can have when focusing even a fraction of that time on the issue of hunger.

In celebrating Sodexo Foundation’s renewed commitment to Share Our Strength, and in particular its efforts to engage youth in the fight to end childhood hunger, 13 Youth Ambassadors from around the U.S. were recognized today at a special breakfast in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Each had an opportunity to meet with their respective Senate and Congressional representatives following the breakfast.

Youth Ambassadors are responsible for working on collaborative projects along with No Kid Hungry state partner organizations and fellow Youth Ambassadors in efforts to increase the number of children who have access to healthy summer meals in their communities. They also support media outreach, blogging, organizing press events and other awareness building activities.

The 2014 No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassadors hail from Arkansas (2), California (1), Connecticut (2), Illinois (2), Montana (1), North Carolina (2) and Texas (3). Visit No Kid Hungry to learn more about them.

July 2014 - Sodexo Extends Benefits Eligibility to Thousands of Additional Employees

Sodexo in the NewsGAITHERSBURG, Md. - July 7, 2014 – Sodexo, a leading provider of sustainable, integrated facilities management and food service operations in North America, will extend the reach of its benefits package to cover an increased number of full-time employees effective January 1, 2015. Sodexo employees who work an average of 30 hours per week over the previous 52 weeks will be considered full-time and therefore eligible for company subsidized benefits. An estimated 5,200 additional Sodexo employees are expected to become eligible.

When determining eligibility for benefits, Sodexo employees on any protected leave of absence such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), FMLA-Like, FMLA-Maternity or Military Leave, are credited in the Sodexo system with 30 hours per week while on leave. For 2015, Sodexo is adding temporary unit closings to its list of protected leaves of absences, which will largely benefit its seasonal employees working in schools, universities and college campuses which are not open year round.

“In today’s health care environment, all companies are navigating in uncharted territory and continually adjusting their policies to adapt to the evolving health care landscape,” said Gerri Mason Hall, Chief Human Resources Officer, Sodexo. “With approximately 68 percent of U.S. employers having variable-hour workers, according to benefits consulting firm Mercer, LLC, it is a challenge that businesses large and small will address as they work to comply with the employer mandate.”

For the 2014 benefits year, Sodexo had changed how it defined full-time hourly, non-exempt employees who were eligible for health and welfare benefits to match the Affordable Care Act definition of a full-time employee as someone who works an average of 30 hours or more per week over a 52-week period. In previous years, the definition of a full-time employee required a person to work 30 hours per week for 6 or more weeks each quarter.

Given analysis that considered the availability of the health care exchanges, perspectives offered by clients and other stakeholders and principles including remaining competitive, caring for employees, managing costs and complying with the law, Sodexo determined that beginning in 2015 it could remain true to these principles even while providing more employees with wider access to its benefits by refining its policy to credit temporary unit closings.

May 2014 - Sodexo Brings Trisha Yearwood's Signature Style of Southern Home Cooking to Its In My Kitchen Culinary Series

GAITHERSBURG, Md. - May 21, 2014 – Sodexo, a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations, has partnered with music superstar and best selling cookbook author Trisha Yearwood for its In My Kitchen culinary series. Recipes by Yearwood, who also hosts “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” on Food Network, will be featured at Sodexo operated locations across North America.

The partnership runs at cafés in a variety of settings including business & industry locations, colleges and universities, and healthcare facilities. In My Kitchen, which features on-trend recipes from celebrity chefs and Sodexo’s top in-house culinary talent, provides a glimpse inside each chef’s personal kitchens, inspiration and cooking styles.

Yearwood’s Orange-Glazed Pork Medallions recipe is currently being offered through In My Kitchen as part of Sodexo’s “Taste of…” in-café promotions. Her Chicken Spinach “Lasagne” was featured earlier in the promotional campaign. Sodexo has also served Yearwood’s popular Monkey Bread Muffins at Jazzman’s Café & Bakery locations nationally. All the recipes Sodexo is featuring are found in her cookbook, Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood.

“In My Kitchen is all about highlighting Sodexo’s wealth of culinary talent and the amazing chefs we partner with to provide our guests with memorable dining experiences,” said John Wright, vice president for Sodexo’s Offer Development Center. “We instantly fell in love with Trisha’s exciting new twist on Southern home cooking and are thrilled to be able to share her recipes through our program.”

In addition to the recipes currently offered, Sodexo will feature signature Yearwood recipes in both its upcoming summer and fall promotions series.

May 2014 - Sodexo Commitment to Excellence in Food Safety Earns Recognition from International Association for Food Protection with 2014 Black Pearl Award

GAITHERSBURG, Md. - May 13, 2014 - The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) announced today that it selected Sodexo as the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Black Pearl Award. The award recognizes a company for its outstanding commitment to, and achievement in, corporate excellence in food safety and quality.

The honor is given annually to one company for its efforts in advancing food safety and quality through consumer programs, employee relations, educational activities, adherence to standards, and support of the goals and objectives of IAFP.

"According to the CDC, every year 1 in 6 Americans--48 million people--get sick as a result of foodborne illness." said George Chavel, President and CEO, Sodexo. "It's important that our industry view food safety as more than a priority; it has to be a living value that does not shift with time. Sodexo’s commitment to excellence in quality assurance and food safety certainly follows that approach."

Understanding that for its customers and clients, safe foodservice is a matter of trust, Sodexo was the first company in its industry segment to achieve ISO 22000 certification for its food safety management system. With the help of its Quality Assurance and Food Safety team, Sodexo continues to develop guidelines and programs that enable the company to promote innovative food safety solutions. It continuously monitors and influences the latest trends, collaborating with industry, academia and regulatory agencies to be in the forefront of emerging issues while sharing knowledge with others.

Sodexo, a leading provider of sustainable, integrated food and facility management operations, serves more than 15 million customers daily in North America. As the nation’s largest foodservice contract management provider with more than 133,000 employees staffing operations at 9,000 sites, Sodexo is committed to providing the highest standards of product quality, food safety and sanitation at thousands of locations in hospitals, senior living centers, schools, colleges, corporate offices and government buildings, as well as leisure facilities like zoos, museums and aquariums.

“Our commitment to quality assurance and food safety can be measured in any number of ways; from our certification credentials and industry leadership to the esteemed recognition we have received by awards like this,” said John Zimmermann, senior director, quality assurance and food safety, Sodexo. “The Black Pearl Award is a true testament to the dedicated hard efforts of the entire team at Sodexo and it confirms our organizational commitment to food safety.

Sponsored by the late Wilbur Feagan and F & H Food Equipment Company, the Black Pearl Award will be presented to Sodexo at IAFP’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana in August.

April 2014 - Five Elementary School Finalists Selected Among 5,000 Nationwide Entries in the Sodexo Future Chefs: Healthy Sandwich Challenge Which Showcases Nutrition and Wellness Learnings

FutureChefs LogoGaithersburg, Md. April 28, 2014— Sodexo, a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations, announced today the five finalists for its Future Chefs: Healthy Sandwich Challenge.

The finalists are all elementary school students from Sodexo-served school districts across the country, and each created videos of their own healthy sandwich creations which can be seen on a dedicated YouTube channel. Visitors to the site are encouraged to view the finalist videos and vote for their favorite recipe today. Public vote will determine the 2014 national winner. Voting is open for one week from Monday, April 28 through Sunday, May 4.

The five Sodexo Future Chefs: Healthy Sandwich Challenge national finalists are:

Matthew Aguilar – Lawton Public Schools in Lawton, OK

Nicole Garrity – Windsor Locks Public Schools in Windsor Locks, CT

Noeli Hernandez – Liberty Hill Independent School District in Liberty Hill, TX

Meredith Moore – Milton-Freewater Unified School District in Milton-Freewater, OR

MaryJane Ware – Troy School District in Troy, MI

“The country’s 52 million students in the U.S. spend more time at school than any other place outside of their homes,” said George Chavel, president and CEO, Sodexo North America. “ It’s an enormous opportunity for Sodexo to support education partners in more than 500 school districts with nutrition, health and wellness learning opportunities, particularly for elementary students, in order to help shape healthy eating habits at an early age.”

The Sodexo Future Chefs program, which is in its fourth year as a national event, creates positive behavioral changes in students by enabling them to get actively involved in good nutrition. More than 2,000 students, representing approximately 1,000 Sodexo-served schools in 30 states, were selected to participate in 110 local events.

The winning student recipes were considered by a collection of Sodexo K-12 chefs to narrow the field to 35 regional winners, who were further evaluated by a panel of judges to select the five students who would advance to the program’s national phase.  Finalists were selected based on the originality, presentation, ease of preparation, kid-friendliness, and healthiness of their recipes.

Programs like Future Chefs represent examples of Sodexo’s commitment to health, wellbeing and support for the districts and communities it serves.  Another example is Sodexo’s recent work with the Partnership for a Healthier America.  In addition to other pledges, the company committed to offering more free breakfast meals in schools and increasing the selection of healthier, more nutritious options in its vending and K-12 lunchroom programs.

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