Children learn about nutrition from ORU Sodexo team during Spring Break

By Natasha Mitchell ('94)

ORU SodexoAbout 46 children and their chaperones from Wesley Chapel Praise and Worship Center and LivingStones Baptist Church in Tulsa learned about nutrition and cooking in the cafeteria in the Hamill Student Center at Oral Roberts University during Spring Break. The children also toured the student gardens and greenhouse with Sodexo Facilities Services. It is the first time ORU Sodexo Campus Dining and Facilities have collaborated with the church's Spring break camp.

"We're impressed with Sodexo and ORU for showing our children so much love and respect and for teaching them how to eat healthy and how to make their own pizza," said Chris Beach, pastor of Wesley Chapel Praise and Worship Center. He is also the founder and president of the Cornerstone Assistance Network in Tulsa.

The event is part of a fulfillment of a STOP Hunger Grant awarded by the Sodexo Foundation, the charitable arm of Sodexo Inc. According to the Sodexo Foundation, it is committed to being a driving and creative force that contributes to a hunger-free nation. The Sodexo Foundation supports innovative programs to help children and families in the United States who are at-risk of hunger. From nutrition programs for children to engaging youth in hunger-fighting community service activities, the Foundation supports hunger-related initiatives on local, state, and national levels.

"For Sodexo and for our team here at ORU, we were all excited to be able to reach out to others in the community, especially to show the kids as professionals what we can do," said Christie Huffman, ORU Sodexo campus dietitian and district marketing coordinator. "This is a great opportunity for chefs to demonstrate their cooking skills and show how it is done. The kids were amazed that the ORU students live here on campus and eat in the cafeteria every day."

The children, donned with Sodexo aprons and chef hats, listened closely to Huffman, and Andrew Cox, ORU Sodexo director of operations; Brandon Holman, ORU Sodexo executive chef; and Trace Kast, ORU Sodexo chef manager, give instructions on how to make pizzas. The group also learned about nutrition and gardening.

Huffman said the idea to host the event started with Beach, who applied for the STOP Hunger grant and contacted the ORU Sodexo office for assistance. Huffman said Beach plans to build a pizza restaurant on the Wesley Chapel Praise and Worship Center's grounds and establish gardens as an outreach to the community.