Sodexo Gives Back to Lynchburg Community for Thanksgiving
- Sodexo hosts food drive for Liberty students to donate to, and Duke Davis will match the contributions.
- Donations will go to Lynchburg Daily Bread, which gives hot meals every day of the year for Lynchburg’s homeless.
This Thanksgiving, Sodexo and Liberty University are continuing their annual tradition of giving back to the city of Lynchburg through food donations and other avenues of philanthropy.
Duke Davis, the general manager of Liberty Dining Services and popular Liberty Twitter personality, estimated that Sodexo donates about $50,000 a year to the community through various avenues.
“It’s just what Sodexo does,” Davis said.
Davis also gives Sodexo employees a Thanksgiving gift, a turkey, to thank them for their hard work day after day.
“We are donating 20 turkeys to the sheriff’s department, who will be giving them to give to families in need. I personally give turkeys to all my employees for Thanksgiving,” Davis said.
Davis also offers Sodexo student workers the option of taking a turkey home or getting money deposited onto their dining dollars balance.
“It’s just something nice to do, just to show them a little bit of appreciation — everyone works hard,” Davis said.
Davis estimated that Sodexo’s Thanksgiving donation will cost about $18,000.
Liberty students can donate through various food drops on campus. Once fully collected, Davis will match the weight of donations up to a certain monetary cap and the entire shipment goes to Lynchburg Daily Bread, a local soup kitchen.
Lynchburg Daily Bread has served hot lunches every day, even holidays, for the last 35 years. In 2016 alone, Lynchburg Daily Bread dished out over 60,400 fresh meals. The vast majority (98 percent) of their food comes from local donations.
Lynchburg Daily Bread needs not only food donations but also volunteers. The organization needs 10 — 12 volunteers a day to prepare food for their guests, but has a pool of 1,000 yearly volunteers to help at the main location on Clay Street and at the outreach programs across Lynchburg.
The goal of Lynchburg Daily Bread is twofold: to change a life by offering a hot, fresh meal to those in need and to reduce landfill waste by partnering with restaurants or Sodexo.
Sodexo also donates food across Lynchburg around the year. Davis mentioned that historically there is a Day of Caring sponsored by United Way of Central Virginia in Lynchburg in May, when 1,000 volunteers and various organizations do self-improvement projects around town. To support the event Sodexo caters lunch for the volunteers at City Stadium.
In providing assistance, Davis said Sodexo works with a diverse group of organizations from food banks, to women’s shelters like Miriam’s Place, to individually helping employees in need.