The summer is a usually a quiet time at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus. But on a recent weekday morning, the McGinley Center kitchen was buzzing with activity.
Standing in front of a stainless steel prep table, Miriam Peters assembled turkey sandwiches and packaged them with oranges, juice boxes and bags of potato chips. When Peters was done, she collected the lunches in a large plastic bag and readied them for delivery.
The next day, the lunches were picked up by workers from City Harvest—a nonprofit food rescue organization—and distributed to school children around the Bronx as part of Sodexo’s “Feeding Our Future” program.
The rationale behind the program is simple, according to Sodexo, the company that handles food service at Fordham: there aren’t a lot of hungry students on campus, but there are plenty of hungry children in the nearby neighborhoods. Established in 1996, Feeding Our Future is on the verge of hitting 1 million meals.
Lunches are delivered to Boys and Girls clubs, food banks or YMCAs; the cost is covered by a nonprofit foundation set up by Sodexo in 1999. Although the program operates in 20 cities around the country, Fordham’s is the only one in New York City.
Abir Roychoudhury, operations director of Sodexo at Fordham, said the University has been working with City Harvest for about seven years. Its van arrives at 9 a.m. every weekday at Rose Hill and picks up, on average, 300 lunches per day.
“Our goal is to provide healthy, nutritious lunches that kids will eat,” Roychoudhury said. “We walk a fine line between healthy and nutritious and the comfort items that kids like.”