Fuel Pantry and Sodexo Partner to Combat On-Campus Food Insecurity

By: Angela Mennecke

Two sodexo workers and one student stand next to a transport carrying cart while holding three salads.

In an effort to help eliminate food insecurity in the College of DuPage community, COD’s food service partner, Sodexo, and the on-campus Fuel Pantry have teamed up to ensure the availability of fresh and substantial food options to clients in need of assistance.

Through food recovery from on-campus dining restaurants Starbucks and Subway, Sodexo donates leftover perishable and non-perishable food items to the Fuel Pantry on Friday afternoons to help the pantry expand offerings to its clients.

“Lynn (Konicek) and Sodexo have been incredibly supportive of the Fuel Pantry in many ways over the years,” said COD Student Life Coordinator and Fuel Pantry Advisor Shannon Hernandez. “Many of us may not have had to consider having regular access to food, but that is not the reality for our clients.”

In addition to supporting the Fuel Pantry through food recovery, Sodexo donates leftover coffee grounds and vegetables to the on-campus Fuel Garden for composting purposes. In the spring, Sodexo will use vegetables from the garden to make soups and salads for purchase with proceeds going to the Fuel Pantry, said Sodexo General Manager Lynn Konicek.

“Sodexo is committed to ongoing food recovery efforts and collaborating with the Fuel Pantry to serve those in need in our COD community,” she said. “We believe strongly in supporting this area and using the resources we have to help our community.”

Every year, the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation raises funds to provide grants to nonprofit organizations helping to end hunger. For the past two years, Konicek has secured $1,000 in grant funds to provide support to the Fuel Pantry.

Hernandez praises Konicek and Sodexo for their ongoing efforts to combat food insecurity.

“Lynn and Sodexo are always open to our ideas and come to us with new ways to support the pantry and help end hunger,” she said. “We could not be more grateful.”

Learn more about the College of DuPage Fuel Pantry.