Five national; 11 regional honorees recognized for outstanding work in communities nationwide
Jun. 05 /CSRwire/ - GAITHERSBURG, Md. - June 5, 2009 - In its continued commitment to create the next generation of activists in the fight against hunger and its root causes, the Sodexo Foundation, independent charitable arm of Sodexo, Inc., honored five K-college students who are making a difference in the fight against hunger. The Foundation awarded $5,000 scholarships to students from Oregon, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio and New York. A $5,000 donation to the hunger-related organization of their choice was also part of the award.
The five students were selected from among 5,100 national applicants to the Sodexo Foundation's STOP Hunger Scholarship program, now in its third year and growing. They were selected for demonstrating leadership in the fight against hunger, and for the results they achieved through a variety of programs in their local communities.
"Hunger and poverty can be very negative legacies handed down from generation to generation," said Stephen J. Brady, president of the Sodexo Foundation. "Perhaps more than any age group, the youth of America clearly see the injustice of 36 million of their fellow citizens going hungry. We rely on the upcoming generation to lead tomorrow's solutions. Through these scholarships, we intend to foster the engagement, commitment and creativity necessary to achieve a hunger-free nation."
In addition to the five national scholarship winners, 11 students were recognized as regional honorees with a $1,000 contribution made to the hunger-related organization of their choice.
The 2009 Sodexo Foundation STOP Hunger Scholarships were presented to: Amy Carlton, Lake Oswego, Ore., junior at Lake Oswego High School; Daniel Feldman, Linwood, N.J., senior at Linwood High School; Kellie Kinsella, Palatine, Ill., freshman at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Andrew Schultze, Kettering, Ohio, senior at Kettering Fairmont High School; and Steven Stargensky, Waterford, N.Y., second-year Hudson Valley Community College student.
The students distinguished themselves from among their peers by starting nonprofit organizations, utilizing hobbies like jewelry making and event planning to raise funds and awareness for hunger-related issues, and taking homeless adults shopping once a week.
Eleven percent of the U.S. population suffers from food insecurity compounded by rising unemployment levels and foreclosures this year. According to a recent Feeding America survey of 160 food banks, 100 percent reported increases in demand for emergency food assistance during 2008, with percentage increases ranging between 28.6 and 37.7 percent. Yet despite this rapid increase, financial support is limited.
For nearly 15 years, Sodexo and the Sodexo Foundation have supported innovative programs to help children and families in the United States who are battling problems such as poverty, unemployment, lack of education, and food insecurity, as part of its STOP Hunger initiative. The Sodexo Foundation has provided $11 million in grants to hunger-related organizations since 1999, including those supported by the Scholars.
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com) is a leading integrated facilities management services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with $7.7 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. Sodexo serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, government, and remote sites. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., is a member of Sodexo Group, and funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $11 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.
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