£174,000 was raised at Sodexo’s annual Foundation charity dinner last night (19 March).

Around 500 guests attended the black-tie dinner in London, and grand finale to the year’s fundraising activities for Stop Hunger, a campaign that aims to tackle poor nutrition in local communities across the UK and Ireland.

Over the last 12 months the Foundation has given out grants of over £350,000 to 15 charity partners including FareShare, the Trussell Trust (the Foundation’s national foodbank partner), SSAFA, Focus Ireland, Magic Breakfast and Coram.

The evening also marked a milestone for Sodexo and Fareshare’s ten-year partnership with the total value donated by the Foundation to Fareshare reaching £1 million.

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of FareShare commented; “FareShare takes good quality, in date food from the food industry and redistributes it to vulnerable people, through a network of 10,000 frontline charities across the UK. Without long-term partnerships with organisations such as Sodexo we wouldn’t be able to support nearly as many people, or get as much food to good causes. Working together we can combat food waste and tackle food poverty.”

Throughout the evening, guests were offered an insight into how the money raised promotes healthy lifestyles and provides food to those in need.

Four employees were recognised at the dinner for their efforts in supporting the Foundation.

Best Charity Champion was awarded to Mark Howie, Intervention Manager, Justice Services, for his commitment to organising fundraising initiatives and encouraging work colleagues to get involved.

Tim Fagan, contract director, Government Services was awarded the Stop Hunger Day Award. Two weeks into a new role, he arranged a charity auction for the benefit of SSAFA and Stop Hunger; hosted by Matt Dawson, with 180 guests in attendance which raised over £51,000.

The Most Innovative Fundraising Idea award went to Marie Arthur, account director, Sports Leisure & Travel.  Marie was the driving force behind the 2018 Stop Hunger Santa Dash – a 5K run with over 100 participants from across the country dressed up in festive clothing who ran to raise money for Stop Hunger.   The event was such a success that it will now be held as an annual event.

The final award of the evening was the Volunteering Award. A vital element of the Foundation’s work is through the employee volunteering programme which allows every Sodexo employee to take up to three days to help volunteer.  Over the last year Sodexo employees have spent over 2,000 hours volunteering.

The award was given in memory of Anita Wilson, one of the Foundation Trustees and Sodexo employee, who sadly passed away last year.  The winner was Omy Lawal, department administrator in Sodexo’s legal team. Omy received the award for her commitment to supporting the Foundation’s charity partners. Most recently, she has made sure that volunteering opportunities are part of the Springboard intern experience that she oversees, engaging the interns in the charitable work of Sodexo and showcasing how we are impacting our local communities.

Commenting on the evening, Sean Haley, Sodexo’s UK & Ireland Regional Chair aid; “The Foundation dinner is an important event in the Sodexo calendar where we have the opportunity to recognise our colleagues who go over and above to help our charitable efforts and to shine a light on the issues that exist within our communities around food poverty. By raising awareness as well as money we aim to help alleviate the issue for as many people as we can.”

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