Sodexo Stops Hunger

Ending Childhood Hunger One State at a Time

By Patricia Nicklin
February 22nd, 2011

Participating in Maryland’s Summer Meals Planning Conference was such an honor.  The exciting news included the announcement of Sodexo Foundation’s $20 million commitment to ending childhood hunger in partnership with Share Our Strength and Youth Service America.

Rosemary King Johnston, executive director of the Maryland Governor’s Office for Children, told me that Sodexo Foundation president Steve Brady was one of the first people she met after Governor O’Malley asked her to lead efforts to end childhood hunger in Maryland. Steve assured her that her work with Share Our Strength would make a real impact and attract support from companies, foundations and public servants across the state. Steve, Rosemary and I have seen Steve’s prediction become reality, thanks largely to Sodexo’s vision and steadfast commitment to the children in its headquarters state and beyond.

One question has motivated me for the last six years: “How can we end childhood hunger in the United States?”  Share Our Strength adopted this goal as our priority in 2004 and launched the first childhood hunger plan in Washington, D.C. with funding from Sodexo Foundation. Now, just seven years later, we have launched No Kid Hungry Campaign partnerships in 11 cities and states, including Maryland, and plan to be in 18 states by the end of 2011.

Share Our Strength’s goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015 through public-private partnerships has inspired me to join the Partnership for Public Service. It is more important than ever to build partnerships across the sectors – including companies like Sodexo – to solve the nation’s most serious social problems. 

Although I am leaving Share Our Strength after 12 years to become the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Partnership for Public Service, I’m so pleased to know that the important work of the organization will continue to grow, thanks to the deepened commitment from Sodexo Foundation to ending childhood hunger. Together we have already changed the lives of thousands of families and children.  We have given them not just food, or money, but a voice and hope.  Thank you for your support and best wishes as the partnership continues.

Partnership for Public Service is a national nonprofit organization that works to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve. I am incredibly excited to work on this important issue, and will not forget the important work Share Our Strength, Sodexo and others do every single day to assist those in need.

Patricia Nicklin is the managing director of Share Our Strength®, a national non-profit dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America. She will soon depart to become the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Partnership for Public Service, a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing public service and improving government performance.

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