Thousands of at-risk children have access to lunch through Sodex - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Thousands of area children have access to lunch through Sodexo

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During the school year, students have access to at least one nutritious meal per day. When school is out of summer, that's not always the case.

The Sodexo foundation feeds millions of children across the country through its "Feed the Future" program.

In Chattanooga, Sodexo has partnered with several organizations to fill the gap for more than 66,000 children who could be at-risk for hunger.

"I always ask them 'what's your favorite part of the day,' and when they say lunch then we've both succeeded," says Susan Lyon with Sodexo Magic.

Since 1997 the Sodexo foundation has provided meals for children who receive free or reduced lunch. In Chattanooga alone the company serves almost 15,000 meals through its "Feeding Our Future" summer meal program.

Organizers say the summer months are very important.

"A lot of times during the summer time those children get forgotten. It's part of Sodexo's passion to help feed the kids that would not necessarily have a meal in the summer."

Each morning the staff at Sodexo packs over 400 meals for participants at Inner City Ministries and Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga. The meals include a sandwich, fruit and other healthy snacks.

Organizers believe that this nutritious meal helps fill the gaps of what the children might not get daily.

"For many kids this is the best meal they get."

Michael Cranford is the president of the Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga. He says having this partnership with Sodexo ensures Boys and Girls Club participants will have lunch

"This is something that isn't planned in our budget. We don't have it. So without a program like this, the opportunity to help feed these kids would be very tough on us."

And organizers are thankful they could help.

"Children get forgotten sometimes and I think it's important because kids are our future."

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