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Sodexo Donates More Than $239,000 Nonprofits during Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix Weekend

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Published on Dec 5, 2013

Circuit of The Americas' official food, beverage and hospitality partner, Sodexo, donated more than $239,000 to local community groups by partnering with nonprofit organizations in concessions activities surrounding the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX (F1 USGP), held Nov. 15-17, 2013.

International spectator events like the F1 USGP race weekend, and highly anticipated local sports competitions like the University of Texas vs. Oklahoma State University football game, which happened concurrently this year, generate huge revenues for the City of Austin. Sodexo, through its work with area nonprofits, provides a novel means of generating funds that directly support community organizations. Austin-area clubs and civic groups work with Sodexo's professional food service personnel, staffing select concessions areas to earn a portion of the proceeds generated for participating nonprofit organizations.

One of the nonprofit organization (NPO) volunteers working at the University of Texas -- Austin location describes the opportunity as a way to enhance their budget and planning for the year and notes, "It would take us two months of cookie sales to make the money that we make here, all in one day," said Stacy Knight, assistant service unit director, Girl Scouts of Central Texas. "We would not have the opportunity that we have without Sodexo's help."

One of Sodexo's roles in serving Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is to compliment the key sustainability and social responsibility initiatives the Circuit pledged to the City of Austin. That includes use of local vendors, reducing carbon foot print and a commitment to strengthening the local community.

"This is without question one of the most impactful of our tasks at COTA. Ensuring support for the local community is something that Sodexo does everywhere we operate," said Steve DiPrima, president, Leisure Services, Sodexo. "This year, we expanded our race weekend impact in Austin to support not only the more than 60 participating nonprofits working at Circuit of The Americas. We also had an additional 45 organizations staffing Sodexo operations for Texas Memorial Stadium at UT-Austin."

Thousands of dedicated NPO volunteers turned out for their respective organizations. Many, in the case of those working the COTA event, showed up at 4:00 a.m. to register at staging areas where they were later bused out to set up their respective concession areas before race fans arrived. All of the preparation and training made for long and challenging hours, but the volunteers understood how it benefited their organizations and the communities they serve.

The overall experience and interaction with the volunteers made an impact all around the Circuit, bringing exposure to groups that support a wide range of worthy causes. Volunteers from the 105 participating NPOs expressed appreciation for the generosity of Sodexo and to Circuit of The Americas for the opportunity.

"Because of the relationship we have with Sodexo and opportunities like these at COTA to earn money, we've raised over $70,000.00 in the past year," said Rachel McInnes, band booster, Akins High School.

In keeping with Sodexo's global commitment to fight hunger, the Austin Capital Area Food Bank was another community organization that benefited from activities around the F1 USGP race weekend. COTA and Sodexo donated 1,500 pounds of fresh and nonperishable surplus food to the local food bank, which serves the more than 440,000 people at risk of hunger locally. An additional 500 pounds of surplus food was donated to Keep Austin Fed.

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