Calgarian wins national award for combating hunger

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Elric Nielsen – Hero of Everyday Life

BURLINGTON, ON – Elric Nielsen has been named a Hero of Everyday Life for his leadership in combating hunger in Calgary by Sodexo Canada’s Stop Hunger Foundation, which has raised over$3 million to fight hunger across Canada since 2007.

The annual award, which includes a grant for $3,000 to be donated to the hero’s charity of choice, recognizes outstanding Sodexo employees who have made a significant impact on reducing hunger in their community.

Elric, who is general manager of Sodexo’s food service operations at Bow Valley College, has spearheaded a range of hunger-fighting initiatives to ensure that people at risk have ready access to nutritional meals.

Among his many accomplishments is the establishment of a multi-year lunch program at the “DI”, a nearby drop-in centre for homeless people. More than a 1,000 nutritious lunches are regularly served at the centre by Bow Valley College and Sodexo volunteers.

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At-risk children

Elric also leads Stop Hunger’s Feeding our Future initiative, the city’s largest summer lunch program for at risk children. Each summer, an army of volunteers from Bow Valley College, community partners and Sodexo and its vendors prepare thousands of free, nutritious lunches for delivery to 10 summer camps across the city for disadvantaged children.

With the arrival of more than about 1,400 Syrian refugees late last year and in early 2016, Elric teamed withSoup Sisters of Calgary to provide a warm culinary welcome. Using Middle Eastern styled recipes, Soup Sisters collaborated with Elric to involve the Calgary community in soup making blitzes at the college’s kitchen facility with the support of college and Sodexo volunteers. The 6000 servings of soups were frozen and distributed to refugees by a wide range of community organizations.

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This July he also headed the organization of a special picnic for children of Syrian refugees in partnership with the Calgary Islamic School.

“Elric is a strong community leader who has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life of those at risk of hunger in Calgary,” says Barry Telford, president of Sodexo Canada. “His ability to network with community partners to develop innovative hunger fighting initiatives and mentor and inspire volunteerism is extraordinary. Stop Hunger is proud to name him a Hero of Everyday Life.”

The grant will be donated in Elric’s name to 1000 Women Rising, a Bow Valley College initiative to help women pursue their post-secondary education and achieve their career ambitions.

“This award belongs equally to our hundreds of volunteers and community partners who all share a united passion for addressing hunger issues,” says Elric. “In particular, the amazing support provided by students, faculty and staff at Bow Valley College has been instrumental in improving the quality of life for Calgarians at risk of hunger.”

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About Sodexo in Canada
Sodexo has been delivering On-Site Services in Canada for over 40 years. Recognized as a strategic partner, Sodexo Canada has consolidated its position by providing a range of Quality of Life Services for clients, their employees and visitors in the healthcare, corporate, education and remote sites segments. Delivering food and facilities management services for over 200 clients, Sodexo is a market leader in Canada in terms of revenue and consumers served, and has been recognized as a top employer for the past four consecutive years.   Sodexo Foundation is an independent charitable organization that has donated more than one million meals to at risk youth in Canada since it was founded in 2000. – CNW

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