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Partner Spotlight

Sodexo Chosen as PHA Partner of the Year

Leading provider of Quality of Life services honored for its work to engage and motivate consumers toward healthy choices

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 13, 2016) — The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) awards the first-ever PHA Partner of the Year Award to Sodexo for its commitment to make healthier choices easier for millions of consumers in the businesses, hospitals, schools, universities, museums and government institutions that it serves.

In 2014 Sodexo announced six metrics-driven PHA commitments intended to combat childhood obesity and make the healthy choice, the easy choice for young consumers and their parents. Third-party verification shows that it has exceeded several goal targets to include offering healthier vending options, implementing Smarter Lunchroom tactics and serving an additional 17 million free breakfasts in primary and secondary schools.

“When forming this partnership with Sodexo, PHA was well aware of the company’s widespread potential impact across the food industry, but we are now seeing the tremendous results of its efforts. Sodexo has been a stellar partner, and I am proud to recognize them as Partner of the Year,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler.

The PHA Partner of the Year Award – part of the organization’s Catalyst for Change Awards – is presented to a partner who demonstrates how it is executing key strategies with and beyond the PHA commitment, including focusing on those populations disproportionately impacted by obesity; doing well while doing good; using an innovative approach to address childhood obesity; or creating a ripple effect within their industry. Sodexo was selected from a pool of over 200 eligible PHA partners.

“Studies show that obesity is one of the leading drivers of preventable chronic diseases and healthcare costs in the U.S., with estimates ranging from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year,” said Lorna Donatone, CEO, Sodexo North America. “Finally, the national childhood obesity rate has leveled off and the rise in obesity among adults is beginning to slow. Sodexo is working to perpetuate achievements in reducing childhood obesity and encourage the modelling of adult lifestyles that reinforce healthy choices for children.”

Since March of 2014, Sodexo has been working with PHA to fulfill a four-year commitment with six specific actions, including: deploying Mindful by Sodexo, its healthy dining program; implementing the healthy vending program; committing to 1 in 5 hospitals meeting the PHA Hospital Healthier Food Initiative; increasing healthier food options in the K-12 schools it serves; providing healthier meal options for children in zoo, museum and aquarium accounts; and, serving 17 million additional free breakfasts to K-12 students by 2018.

With more than 130,000 employees in more than 9,000 client locations in North America, Sodexo possesses the ability to make an enormous positive impact on the health and wellbeing of many, and it has made several moves to do so over the last few years. Since 2014, total sales of Mindful by Sodexo options jumped from 6 million to 15 million – an increase of more than 250 percent. In 2015, consumers chose Mindful by Sodexo items over traditional versions, saving 13.5 million calories.

PHA will present the Partner of the Year Award at the PHA Fit to Celebrate Gala in Washington, D.C. on November 17. Tickets are available for purchase at

About Sodexo: Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.

About PHA: The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

Contact: Blythe Thomas VP, Communications & Marketing
Partnership for a Healthier America 
(202) 864-6053

Samuel E. Wells, LEED AP Director, Media Relations Sodexo, Inc.
(301) 987-4893