Vertically Integrated Partnership holds special dinner at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle

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The 'Vertically Integrated Partnership to Feed Those in Need' (Vertically Integrated Partnership or VIP) held a special dinner at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle. In particular, some of the members (UW Housing & Food Services, Sodexo, Annie's Fun, Hirai Farms, Sysco, Food Services of America, etc.) of the 'VIP' prepared and served dinner to approximately 80 children and parents staying at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House (http://www.rmhcseattle.org). The dinner was also attended by key community and legislative leaders including Representative Phyllis Kenney (Chair of the House Community and Economic Development and Trade Committee) and Rep. Eric Pettigrew (Chair of the House Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee).

The Vertically Integrated Partnership or VIP is a coalition of farmers, food processors, food distributors and other food service companies that are working together to help stop hunger in the Pacific Northwest. The VIP includes Sodexo, Annie's Fun, Hirai Farms, McCain Foods, Sysco, National Frozen Foods, Food Services of America, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay and UW Housing & Food Services, etc. For example, the dinner at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House was prepared by chefs from the University of Washington Housing & Food Services (UW-HFS) and Sodexo.

Since 2008, the Vertically Integrated Partnership has donated and/or served enough food for nearly 2 million meals to various food banks and other organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to helping sponsor the dinner as part of the VIP, Annie's Fun also recently donated $11,000 to the Seattle Ronald McDonald House for new chairs and furniture for the family rooms and communal family seating areas (http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FgE1oI6BcB_CyDaEavZhOg?feat=directlink).

'We are very grateful to the Vertically Integrated Partnership (i.e., Sodexo, UW-HFS, Annie's Fun, etc.) for sponsoring and preparing this special dinner, and for the donation of new furniture by Annie's Fun,' said Dianna Finnerty, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska. 'We are very fortunate to have organizations like the Vertically Integrated Partnership, UW-HFS, Sodexo and Annie's Fun and leaders like Kerwin Higashi (of Sodexo), Blaine Hirai (of Annie's Fun) and Pam Schreiber (of UW-HFS) who are committed to helping children and families.'

To see various photos from the August 29, 2010 Vertically Integrated Partnership Special Dinner at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle, click the link below:
http://picasaweb.google.com/113801520809907951729/082910VerticallyIntegratedPartnershipSpecialDinnerAtTheRonaldMcDonaldHouseInSeattle#

For more information, please contact Dianna Finnerty, Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska at dianna@rmhcseattle.org or 206-838-0623, or Blaine Hirai at giving@anniesfun.org or 509-693-7811, or the Vertically Integrated Partnership at verticallyintegratedpartners@gmail.com.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska (http://www.rmhcseattle.org) supports seriously ill children and their families. At the Seattle Ronald McDonald House, we provide a caring 'home-away-from-home' for families of seriously ill children being treated at Seattle Children's Hospital. The House is one of the largest Houses in the world and serves approximately 800 families annually. The House is operated and maintained through individual and corporate donations by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska.

About Annie's Fun

'Annie's Fun' (http://www.anniesfun.org) is a non-profit, charitable 501(c)(3) organization located in the Pacific Northwest that was formed by Blaine Hirai and the Hirai Family in 2005 to help those in need. The primary mission of Annie's Fun is to help children and economically disadvantaged communities.

About Sodexo

Sodexo is a leading Food and Facilities Management services company. Sodexo has an ongoing commitment to help people who face hunger and malnutrition in the communities it serves. The company's various programs are coordinated under its 'STOP Hunger' (http://www.sodexofoundation.org/) initiative, which now operates in 25 countries. Sodexo employees have contributed to more than 200 hunger-related NGOs and community-based groups since STOP Hunger's inception more than ten years ago. With the global problem of hunger and malnutrition now afflicting more than a billion people, Sodexo and its 355,000 employees across the globe are making a strong commitment to help donate food, serve meals and raise money for needy people in local communities.

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