Boehringer Ingelheim, Sodexo and Food Rescue US collaborate to feed hungry during COVID-19 crisis

Boehringer Ingelheim’s corporate campus in Ridgebury makes it Ridgefield’s biggest taxpayer and a major employer in the area. In the foreground is the research facility, and farther back is corporate office headquarters.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s corporate campus in Ridgebury makes it Ridgefield’s biggest taxpayer and a major employer in the area. In the foreground is the research facility, and farther back is corporate office headquarters.

Contributed photo

Boehringer Ingelheim and its food contractor, Sodexo, are working to help feed the hungry.

More than 50 Sodexo employees who work in the cafeteria, catering and kitchen staff at Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ridgefield campus are being redeployed to help neighbors in need. In partnership with Food Rescue US and Boehringer Ingelheim, the Sodexo dining team is preparing 250 nourishing meals daily that will be safely delivered to the City of Danbury Emergency Shelter and Housing Authority, Hillside Food Outreach and other social service agencies throughout Fairfield County.

The dining team will also help the kitchen staff at Regional Hospice’s Center for Comfort Care and Healing, where new visitation protocols have been implemented to ensure the safety of residents and staff.

In addition to fighting food insecurity, the partnership has enabled Sodexo’s dining staff to continue working during a time when many might have had to consider alternative job solutions, since the majority of Boehringer Ingelheim’s employees are now working remotely and much of the food service at the company’s facility in Ridgebury has been reduced.

“Boehringer Ingelheim and Sodexo have been partners for over 30 years, and we view their dedicated team members as if they were family,” said Dr. Wolfgang Baiker, U.S. Country Managing Director and President and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim USA. “We wanted to help with employment continuity during this troubling time. We are proud to be working together with them and Food Rescue US focusing on positive actions that advance the health and well-being of our community.”

Sodexo staff members safely package and prepare meals based on the needs of the individuals that Food Rescue US serves. Food Rescue US will then pick up the meals each day at Boehringer Ingelheim’s campus and deliver them to the partner organizations.

“The Sodexo team is honored to support the Danbury community during this difficult time,” said Andrea Crosnier, Regional District Manager for Sodexo at Boehringer Ingelheim. “Our partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim is a great example of how we can continue to keep our team employed, while giving back to our community.”

“The partnership between Boehringer Ingelheim, Sodexo and Food Rescue US to address the urgent need to feed the increasing number of food insecure individuals and families during the COVID-19 crisis is an important and creative initiative,” said Carol Shattuck, CEO, Food Rescue US. “I commend Boehringer Ingelheim for opening up their kitchens to meet this important need and Sodexo and their food production team for stepping up to produce healthy meals that Food Rescue US is delivering to agencies that serve people in need. Now more than ever, these partnerships are critical.”

About Boehringer

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has a corporate campus in Ridgebury on the Ridgefield-Danbury line, and is by far the Town of Ridgefield’s largest taxpayer. It is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation, one of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies, headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany and operating globally with approximately 50,000 employees.

Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 67 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of food, facilities management and other services in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments. The company employs 160,000 people at 13,500 sites in all 50 US states and Canada.

Food Rescue US, a national nonprofit organization, is a leader in reducing both hunger and food waste in America by connecting the vast amount of healthy, fresh surplus food with the critical hunger demand. Through the use of its proprietary app, Food Rescue US provides the platform for volunteer food rescuers to directly transfer excess food from businesses to local social service agencies that feed the food insecure.