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Sodexo Sponsors 2010 National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 Press Release J E 4
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GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 29 As the nation's capitol welcomes visitors from around the world to celebrate the 98th annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, Sodexo, Inc., world leader in Quality of Daily Life solutions, supports the Festival's focus on youth and the environment. The company sponsors the Youth Ambassadors Program and D.C. school tree planting program for 2010.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is the official harbinger of spring, attracting more than one million visitors to share in Japan's 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the United States, which remains important as a universal symbol of goodwill and friendship. The 16-day festival includes diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts, culture, education and the environment.

Now in its third year, the Youth Ambassadors Program helps to educate Washington's youth (focusing on fourth and fifth graders) about the cultural and international significance of the cherry blossom trees in their communities. Through the program, students learn more about their local history and Japanese culture. They come to understand the importance of the care and maintenance of the trees and help spread the messages of goodwill and friendship.

George Chavel, Sodexo North America President and CEO, said, "Communicating the value of multicultural diversity to schoolchildren is the best assurance we have that this generation and the next will experience the powerful benefits of living, learning and working among people of all backgrounds. I am pleased that Sodexo is taking a leadership role as sponsor of the Cherry Blossom Festival's Youth Ambassadors Program and we hope to help it continue to grow."

The Youth Ambassadors Program runs in five D.C. schools this year, reaching more than 200 students. The participating schools are:

Sodexo employees will also join city council members, community members and others to plant cherry blossom trees at Emery Elementary School on April 9.

To learn more about the 2010 National Cherry Blossom Festival and its Youth Ambassadors Program visit: www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.

About Sodexo

Sodexo in North America

Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), a member of Sodexo Group, is a leading provider of Comprehensive Service Solutions serving more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care, retirement, schools, higher education, government and remote sites. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., Sodexo, Inc. operates in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with $7.7 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. The Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org) is an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $12.7 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.

Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions

Quality of Life plays an important role in the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. Based on this conviction, Sodexo is the strategic partner for companies and institutions that place a premium on performance and well-being, as it has since Pierre Bellon founded the company in 1966. Sharing the same passion for service, Sodexo's 380,000 employees, in 80 countries design, manage and deliver an unrivaled range of On-site Service Solutions and Motivation Solutions. Sodexo has created a new form of service business that contributes to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries in which it operates and to the fulfillment of its employees.

Key Figures (as of August 31, 2009)

-- Achievement Preparatory Academy -- Imagine Southeast Public Charter School -- Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School -- Emery Elementary School -- Strong John Thomson Elementary

SOURCE Sodexo, Inc.
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