The Heroes of Everyday Life® program was created to honor Sodexo employees who have demonstrated exemplary service to others in the fight against hunger. We are extremely proud of our Heroes. View all Heroes.
Sandi Brownell, Senior Unit Clerical, Colby-Sawyer College Universities, New London, NH
When Sandi heard about Sodexo’s Stop Hunger program during a daily work huddle, it inspired a vision. In December 2013, Sandi launched Feed the Freezer, a program that recovers leftover food from the campus dining hall and repackages it into frozen meals for local food pantries. Sandi’s enthusiasm and determination have inspired a dedicated team of student volunteers, and with their help, Feed the Freezer has rescued and donated more than 7,000 pounds of food, the equivalent of 5,850 meals. In addition to rescuing food, Sandi and her team place food collection boxes around campus and Sandi helps plan bi-annual Can Hunger food drives. She can even be seen in the campus garden, harvesting surplus produce for local food banks.
A passionate advocate, Sandi educates others about food insecurity and hunger by speaking to farmers about donating produce and advising other New Hampshire businesses on creating food recovery programs.
David Grant, Receiver and Stock Room Clerk, Framingham State University, Universities, Framingham, MA
Almost every Saturday, you can find David at the Framingham Food Pantry, which helps more than 350 individuals and families who live west of Boston. David began volunteering there eight years ago, greeting clients and bagging groceries. Food bank leaders say David stood out because of the effort he made to engage with the clients. Today, he is Volunteer Procurement Manager and an indispensable part of the food banks’ operation. Every Saturday, he helps package groceries, fresh fruit, produce, toiletries, frozen meats and eggs. Once a month, he drives a truck to the Greater Boston Food Bank, where he loads it with up to 7,000 pounds of food and supplies and brings it back to Framingham to unload the provisions.
Around the holidays, David makes an extra effort. This past November, he procured 200 turkeys, which allowed the pantry to support families in need for Thanksgiving.
Rose Paul, Lead Cook, Katten Muchin Rosenman, Corporate Services, New York, NY
A talented cook, Rose spends weekdays feeding Sodexo customers delicious meals, but on the weekends, she uses her gifts to help those in need. It started in 1996 when Rose joined Emanuel Baptist Church and immediately volunteered her time for their meal program. In the more than twenty years since, she has spent every Sunday—and some Saturdays, too—preparing delicious hot meals and soups for people without enough to eat. On a given day, she provides meals for as many as 100 homeless people from her neighborhood in the Bronx.
Rose has also begun rescuing excess food from her Sodexo site for the program. At the end of every week, Rose rescues, packages and delivers about 60 pounds of food for the church.
In addition, Rose spends two days a month giving out dry goods and clothes to those who need them. In 2016 alone, Rose handed out over 3,000 pounds of food and prepared and served more than 4,300 hot meals.
Vicki Rolph, Dining Supervisor, Concordia University, Universities, Portland, OR
Vicki truly cares about the students at Concordia University, so she started an Emergency Food Pantry that gives groceries to food-insecure students, no questions asked. It all started when she arrived at Concordia in 2013. She also set up a program to help when students run out of money on their meal cards. Vicki believes in engaging students, so student volunteers help with all aspects of the pantry. They’ve helped Vicki run holiday food drives and even organized a rock concert food drive. Altogether, the pantry has collected more than 40,000 pounds of food.
In 2016, donations to the food pantry were so generous that Vicki decided to give the excess to food-insecure students at a local elementary school. She soon launched a backpack food program there.
In fact, Vicki seems to have endless energy for helping others. She collects toiletries for a homeless outreach program, delivers lunches to people in need in the community and has rescued more than 3,000 pounds of surplus perishable food.
Laura Spicer, Clinical Dietitian, Bridgewater Retirement Community, Seniors, Bridgewater, VA
A registered dietitian, Laura is passionate about helping people in need find healthy food. She’s gotten the entire Bridgewater Retirement community involved—not just team members but also residents, too. Laura holds two food drives every year at Bridgewater, and she recruits residents to gather and package the food. In the seven years she’s been doing it, she has collected more than 20,000 pounds of food.
Every spring, the proceeds of the food and funds drive benefit food pantries and a backpack food program for local schools. After the fall food drive, she partners with the Harrisonburg Women’s Service League to create “Blessing Boxes” for the holidays. Residents help her fill these boxes with healthy food, including a frozen chicken as well as turkey to feed families for the week of Thanksgiving.
Laura has also been teaching nutrition at a local college for two years, and this year started working with teen mothers to help them make healthy choices for themselves and their children.