ASHEBORO – The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation announced its 2022 Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholars and Heroes of Everyday Life. Five students and five Sodexo employees received a $5,000 grant to continue their work to fight food insecurity within their communities.
Pat Whitley has been a valued part of Randolph Health for over 15 years and accepted the $5,000 grant to support her efforts to fight hunger. Pat and her husband, Mike, started by serving grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup off a flatbed trailer to hungry and homeless people.
Today, they have expanded and now they feed hundreds out of their mobile kitchen all through the generosity of private donors and corporate grants.
Mike and Pat actually have a reason for reaching out to the homeless and less fortunate that is a little closer to home than most. A family member grew up in public housing and, because her mother was addicted to drugs, had to care for her younger siblings.
“She told us about having to go door to door, asking for food,” Pat said. “I don’t know how DSS (Department of Social Services) never got involved with them. She’s the main reason we have such a passion for helping children and families with children. We don’t want to see anyone go hungry.”
As Pat and Mike look to the future and retirement they are looking to do more. “Once we’re able to retire, then we can expand the meals to weekdays,” Pat said. “The more volunteers we’re able to get, then the more we’ll be able to do.”
“It’s been a blessing to us to be able to do this,” Pat said. “We’re very thankful.”
Pat’s initiatives to feed the hungry directly aligns with the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. The Foundation’s vision is that all children deserve access to sufficient healthy food every day so they can learn, play and thrive. The Foundation mobilizes experts, innovators, volunteers and donors to feed children in the U.S. today and advocate for policies that ensure no child is hungry again tomorrow. This includes Sodexo employees, who support Stop Hunger year-round by donating their time, resources and expertise, hold,ing fundraisers and encouraging others to get involved. Since the foundation’s launch in 1999 more than $34.5 million have been granted to alleviate child hunger.
“We are so proud that Pat’s work to feed the hungry in our community has been recognized,” said Tim Ford, CEO. “At Randolph Health we are very blessed to have so many dedicated team members that not only provide high-quality care within our facility, but take their compassion and give back to our community through numerous charities and organizations.”