Sodexo Volunteers Champion Literacy and Food Security with Chapter One

THE Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is a platinum partner to Chapter One, a charity aimed at improving educational outcomes, addressing a root cause of food insecurity. This National Volunteers Week Sodexo is recognising around 140 employees and young family members who have supported Chapter One this academic year.

Since September 2023, 105 of Sodexo’s employees have chalked up over 1,400 30-minute reading sessions with children aged 5-8 across 15 schools in: Bradford, Doncaster, East Sussex, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Middlesbrough. By the end of the academic year this will rise to over 2,000 sessions.

In addition to this, 34, including young family members, took the time to participate in a story competition run in conjunction with Chapter One and Sodexo’s Parents and Carers employee network.

The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, a UK-registered charity, is an employee-led initiative and a key enabler of Sodexo’s Social Impact Pledge, delivering impact for the most disadvantaged communities.

Sodexo’s volunteering policy enables its employees to take three paid volunteering days each year supporting those who need in the most in our communities.

Chapter One has been a charity partner with the Stop Hunger Foundation since 2021. In September 2023 Stop Hunger became a platinum partner increasing the number of volunteering opportunities and expanding its support. In addition to the ongoing volunteering, Stop Hunger’s grant of £33,380 has enabled Chapter One to support over 3,000 children.

Sean Haley, CEO of Sodexo UK & Ireland and Stop Hunger Foundation trustee said:

“We are committed to improving the communities where we work, serve and live. By providing a diverse range of volunteering opportunities we empower our colleagues to directly contribute to combating food insecurity in their local community. By volunteering to spend just 30 minutes a week our colleagues are making a significant and measurable impact on literacy development, creating educational opportunities and future success.” 

In conjunction with Sodexo’s Parents and Carers employee network Stop Hunger and Chapter One launched a story-writing competition for Sodexo employees and their families.

The competition attracted 21 entries, with stories co-authored by young people from employees’ families. Stories followed the theme of ‘bringing people together through food’.  A shortlist was decided by a panel of Sodexo volunteers, with the winning story chosen by a panel of children.

95 school children were invited (online and in person) to a special story-telling event at Sodexo’s London head office to hear the winning story, Cooking Pot Woods. Authored by Victoria Eames from Sodexo’s procurement arm, Entegra, the story has been professionally illustrated and is now available on Chapter One’s reading platform, which is used by 4,700 children, and on Chapter One’s free global online library.

Stop Hunger’s work goes beyond immediate food aid activities. It is focused on changing lives by addressing the root causes of food insecurity with a focus on women’s empowerment. Thanks to the financial support of Sodexo, donations made to Stop Hunger go directly to financing activities and sustainable solutions for disadvantaged communities to exit food insecurity.