Students Munch on Free Local Produce Delivered to Class

Student nutrition provider uses grant funding to make produce more accessible to all students
Oct 13, 2010 3:56 PM ET
(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) GAITHERSBURG, MD - October 13, 2010 - New Jersey's cornucopia of fruits and vegetables overflows from the cafeteria to the classrooms of Lakewood School District, giving teachers a chance to fuel their students' academic performance while teaching a quick lesson on eating right as Sodexo serves up local produce to all children in the classroom.

A $75,000 New Jersey's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grant, secured by nutrition-provider Sodexo for Lakewood School District, will make fresh and local produce abundantly available in schools throughout the state.

The grant, administered by New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture for the third consecutive year, provides the Lakewood School District with fresh produce throughout the 2010-2011 school year and allows Sodexo to teach students about the importance of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Sodexo is using the grant to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables for more than 1,600 elementary school students at both Ella G. Clarke School and Spruce Street School in Lakewood.

  Sodexo, a 20-year strategic partner with the Lakewood School District, fills bags with local fruits and vegetables twice each week throughout the entire school year. The Sodexo team works closely with teachers to deliver the fresh produce to students to eat and enjoy in their classroom. This system promotes fruit and vegetables consumption as part of a daily routine, in addition to the school lunch students get in the cafeteria.   Getting students to eat fruits and vegetables can be challenging but Sodexo engages them with fun, interactive and informative programs. For example, the A to Z Salad Bar expands student palates in a fun way by allowing them to try a fruit or vegetable from every letter of the alphabet. Another program, arranges for visits from local farmers and food producers to teach students about where their food comes from.   “We really enjoy participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and we are particularly proud that we are able to use both the grant money and our student well-being expertise to get more Lakewood students eating fruits and vegetables,” said Armida Caldwell, general manager for Sodexo. “This program is only successful if you get the kids to eat the food and we think our approach makes healthy eating and nutrition education fun and exciting.”   In addition to Lakewood, six Sodexo-served districts in New Jersey are also receiving 2010-2011 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program funds including:
  • Atlantic City School District – Atlantic City, N.J.

  • East Orange School District – East Orange, N.J.

  • Long Branch Public Schools – Long Branch, N.J.

  • Phillipsburg School District – Phillipsburg, N.J.

  • Plainfield Public Schools - Plainfield, N.J.

  • West Orange Public Schools – West Orange, N.J.

Sodexo is observing National School Lunch Week, Oct. 11 to 15 by highlighting innovative programs in the 480 school districts it serves. Sodexo is committed to take measurable sustainable actions that ensure a brighter future in the areas of health and wellness, environmental stewardship and community development. Sodexo School Services focuses on nutrition, achievement, environment, community and activity to promote student well-being.   About Sodexo
Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc. (, leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On Site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Motivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $13 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at
Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions
Quality of Life plays an important role in the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. Based on this conviction, Sodexo is the strategic partner for companies and institutions that place a premium on performance and well-being, as it has since Pierre Bellon founded the company in 1966. Sharing the same passion for service, Sodexo’s 380,000 employees, in 80 countries design, manage and deliver an unrivaled range of On-site Service Solutions and Motivation Solutions. Sodexo has created a new form of service business that contributes to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries in which it operates and to the fulfillment of its employees.   Key Figures (as of August 31, 2009)

Sodexo in the World

14.7 billion euro consolidated revenue
380,000 employees
33,900 sites
50 million consumers served daily
80 countries
22nd largestemployer worldwide

Sodexo in North America

7.7 billion dollars revenue
120,000 employees
10 million consumers served daily
6,000 clients
700 facilities management sites