Sodexo, (No. 6 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) world leader in Quality of Life Services and a partner to the United States Marine Corps, joined forces with that organization last weekend in support of its annual Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Kids Run. This event, a one-mile just-for-fun run for kids age 5-12, is an annual lead-up activity to the largest marathon in the world that doesn't offer prize money. Sodexo has sponsored the event since 2003.
The marathon brings together runners from all walks of life to participate in a patriotic race and a weekend of family-friendly activities. More than 3,600 kids participated in the MCM Kids Run this year, including students from Washington, D.C. metropolitan area schools that joined the run as part of the Healthy School Award challenge. The top five schools with the most registered student participants received the Healthy School Award, which includes a monetary donation to the schools' physical education departments from Sodexo, the challenge's sponsor.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the national recommendation is that children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years should have one hour or more of physical activity each day, but the President's Council on Fitness tells us that only one in three children are physically active every day.
"Lack of recommended activity contributes to childhood obesity, which then becomes a matter of national security when less people are fit enough to serve in the armed forces," explained Deborah Roberts, CEO, Sodexo Government, North America. "Sodexo sees an opportunity to fight childhood obesity by helping children to make healthier lifestyle choices, which is why we proudly support the MCM Kids Run and the Healthy School Award," added Roberts.
As each child crossed the finish line, Sodexo provided a nutritious snack for the children to enjoy and then invited them to visit its activity tent. This popular post-race hangout featured a variety of activities focused on keeping kids' minds and bodies active, including:
- Dance party with Xbox 360 interactive dance games
- Refueling station, featuring bottled water & bananas
- Health themed coloring sheets
- Temporary tattoos & balloons
- Kids fun table with healthy eating themed giveaways
Readiness and resilience are the heartbeat of the U.S. military. As a key partner, Sodexo measures the success of our solutions against their ability to contribute to these two key performance drivers. We recognize that by enhancing the Quality of Life for armed services members, military families and the military community, we are helping our clients meet their objectives while also contributing to our national security. Since 2002, Sodexo has improved the Quality of Life for Marines by providing foodservice management to all mess halls on United States Marine Corps bases throughout the continental U.S.
With more than 40 years of experience working municipal, state, federal and military clients, Sodexo's Government segment and its nearly 3,000 employees improve the Quality of Life for the people it serves at 150 military and U.S. Federal Government locations in 26 states. Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Sodexo provides a variety of integrated food and facilities management solutions and is the nation's largest federal foodservice contractor – serving 45.6 million meals annually with a focus on wellness and nutrition.