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

In an effort to reduce turnover, lunchroom supervisors at elementary schools in a Chicago-area district will see an increase in pay at the start of the new school year, the Chicago Tribune reports .

The board of education for Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 on Aug. 8 approved a proposal to increase wages for those supervisors, boosting starting pay from from $12 to $14 an hour. Returning employees who already earn above the new rate will see an hourly increase of 2%.

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Joel Martin said he hopes the increased wages will allow...

Ideas and Innovation
coffee shop trailor graphic

A familiar face is coming to the roads of Rutgers University this fall: the Starbucks mermaid. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based school is testing a Starbucks truck throughout the upcoming semester, NJ.com reports . The company began testing trucks on college campuses in 2014, and now has mobile locations at Arizona State University, James Madison University in Virginia, East Carolina University in North Carolina and Sacramento State in California.

The trucks will serve the full lineup of Starbucks beverages that’s available at the outlet’s brick-and-mortar location at Rutgers,...

Industry News & Opinion

A study from Virginia Tech has found a connection between school meal participation and obesity in students. From data that predates the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act , the findings raise questions over whether nutrition standards go far enough.

The research evaluated data from 1998 to 2007, comparing first through eighth grade students who partook in free and reduced-price lunch and those who qualified but opted out. Wen You, associate professor in the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, says she expected to validate theories that increased breakfast...

Industry News & Opinion

Buffalo Public Schools is turning to local chefs and a little competition to help create new menu items, the Buffalo News reports .

In October, local chefs will compete against each other and a team of seven to 10 students led by chef Bobby Anderson, a former contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen,” to create lunch recipes that comply with USDA nutritional requirements and use seasonal produce sourced locally.

“This Chef Challenge is another way to engage our youth in a fun, friendly competition with local area chefs who can help create appealing recipes that will be incorporated...

FSD Resources