Rollins College and Sodexo team up to fight hunger

College collected more than 20,000 pounds of food for local food bank.

Feb. 16—As part of Sodexo’s annual Helping Hands Across America campaign, the 3,226-student Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla., collected 21,744 pounds of food, which was donated to the local Second Harvest Food Bank. The first year of the program the college collected 3,777 pounds of food. The second year the number grew to 12,293 pounds of food. The third year the school collected 16,201 pounds.This year's goal was 20,000 pounds, which was exceeded with 21,744 pounds. Gerard Short, area general manager with Sodexo, says the program has been able to grow because of its efforts reaching out to the community.

“We ask the folks here at the institution to donate in several different ways,” Short says. “They can donate with cash and credit at any one of our point-of-sale locations on campus. They can donate using discretionary funds and they can donate online. We also solicited larger donations from some of our trustees and community members. The chamber of commerce hosts an event where all the money collected goes toward this campaign.”

In addition to gathering donations from students and the community, the department also reached out to other departments at the university.

“Every year the Second Harvest food bank provides bags to us,” Jayme Bartlett, marketing coordinator with Sodexo, says. “This year we took all those bags to all the departments on campus, and each department filled the bags with food. Some filled the bags more than once, which made this year the most successful in terms of faculty and staff participation.”

To encourage even more donations the college purchased its goal of 20,000 pounds of food and set it out in the main dining hall as a display so students, faculty and staff could see exactly what the goal looked like.

“It was just massive,” Short says. “It was just for visualization. When people see that [huge pile of food] they are more inclined to give. We tell them, ‘We need to raise enough money to donate this food.’”

Short says the key to growing the program each has been advance planning and organization.

“Organization is the key to our success,” Short says. “This year we are going out even further into the community asking for donations. We don’t know how we’re going to do it yet, but we want to raise 25,000 pounds of food, which doesn’t seem like a lot but you have large schools that do this that don’t even raise 2,000 pounds of food. We’re really proud of the fact that we are able to raise that amount of food for our local community.”

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Italian food hall chain Eataly is making plans for a 2018 initial public offering in its home country, according to a report this week in Financial Times.

The company plans to list shares on the Italian stock exchange in Milan “as early as next year,” Eataly Executive Chairman Andrea Guerra told Financial Times .

Eataly is eager to expand the presence of its massive Italian food emporiums in the U.S., which have helped spur the growing food hall trend . The company has five locations here, with two in New York City and one each in Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. Financial...

Industry News & Opinion

Students staffing the foodservice department at Rutgers University will soon get an hourly pay bump, as the New Brunswick, N.J., university is raising its wage for student workers to $11 an hour, philly.com reports.

The increase will go in effect Jan. 1 and will impact 13,000 students.

The fight to raise wages at the school was spearheaded by student group United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), which is continuing to push the university to increase student wages to $15.

The fight for a $15 wage for student workers has spread at schools throughout the country,...

Industry News & Opinion

After shutting down 265 schools due to ongoing wildfires, the Los Angeles Unified School District kept three schools open on Friday and Saturday to provide meals for students and their families, the Los Angeles Times reports.

At one of the schools, employees and volunteers handed out around 100 meals on Friday and 270 meals on Saturday. The meals included items such as dragonfruit punch, raisins, bananas, sunflower kernels, whole-grain cinnamon graham crackers, sunflower seed butter and fat-free chocolate milk.

Around 80% of students in the district come from low-income...

Sponsored Content
Breakfast chili

From Bush’s Best®.

While decadent plates of French toast and pancakes stacked high will always be breakfast favorites, it’s undeniable that savory breakfast items are on the rise in many foodservice operations. Menu items such as avocado toast and omelets aren’t new, of course, but consumers’ preferences for better-for-you food choices, along with their desire for global flavors, are driving this trend.

According to a recent Technomic Breakfast report, consumer demand for vegetarian ingredients has led to an increase of ingredients like soy, tofu, beans, lentils, seeds,...

FSD Resources