Sodexo and Enactus UK & Ireland collaborate to introduce refugee recipes at Coventry University

“All from left to right: Nithin Nair, Soochan Pottaparambil, Tanisha Bernadshaw, Annto Ferrah, Mallika Mahato, Yashika Bhadula, Ian Gribben (Sodexo), Maria Martin, Rosa Amato (Aston University student advisor), and Abhinav Sabharwal.”
A collaboration between Sodexo UK & Ireland and social enterprise and educational charity Enactus UK & Ireland has led to the introduction of two new tasty dishes developed by refugees to the menus at Coventry University.

Student entrepreneurs from Aston University participated in the Action4Impact incubator project in 2023 pitching their Chance for Change cookbook. The project is led by Enactus Aston in partnership with Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation and is focused on empowering women and fighting food insecurity through innovation and support for young entrepreneurs.

Two of the dishes, Chicken Galhina Cafreal and Aubergine & Potatoes, created by two refugees for the cookbook have been successfully trialled by Sodexo at Coventry University at the end of 2023. Sodexo executive chef Jason Trotter has since worked with the authors to adapt the recipes and are now included in the menu at the University.

Sodexo launched the two dishes with special pop-up counters on the University campus in early February, the 'Chance for Change' cookbooks were also available to buy with proceeds from sales of the cookbooks funding training and other opportunities to empower the refugee authors so they can establish food-based enterprises of their own.

At the launch event in February, Avni Ahuja, from the Enactus Aston team said: “It was nothing short of extraordinary. The day radiated warmth, unity, and a shared commitment to making a tangible impact. Witnessing the seamless collaboration between our Enactus Aston team, Sodexo, and the Stop Hunger Foundation left me profoundly inspired.

“What we achieved was more than just completing Phase 1 of our Chance for Change initiative; we created a tapestry of connections, uplifted spirits, and most importantly, empowered our beneficiaries to be the authors of their own narratives. The day wasn't just about milestones; it was about cultivating a collective force for positive change that will undoubtedly reverberate far beyond our immediate endeavours.'

Ian Gribben, Account Director, Universities at Sodexo, said: 'Our partnership with Enactus and the introduction of these dishes underpins our commitment to leverage our organisational strengths to support and scale meaningful projects. The success of the food tasting event and the integration of these recipes into our menu management system, exemplifies our dedication to innovation and social responsibility.'

In addition, Sodexo has extended its support through business mentoring and at its Stop Hunger Foundation dinner, due to be held on 21 March, the menu will feature three dishes from the Chance for Change cookbook with the authors joining Sodexo’s chefs in the kitchen to help prepare the dishes on the night. The Aston Enactus team will also join Sodexo UK & Ireland CEO, Sean Haley onstage in a special panel discussion about the project. The cookbooks will also be sold on the night.

Gareth John, European Director of Sodexo Legal Affairs and Chair of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation added: 'The passion and innovation displayed by the Aston Enactus team align seamlessly with Stop Hunger’s mission. This partnership not only brings unique flavours to our communities but also empowers individuals to overcome food insecurity and poverty, driving positive change. This initiative is a shining example of how corporate and educational partnerships can create impactful social change.”

Sodexo’s partnership with Enactus UK began in 2019, focusing on mentoring, career advice, internships, and job opportunities for students, thereby enhancing student employability and success in higher education.

Amy Brereton, Executive Director at Enactus UK & Ireland, said: 'The opportunity to bring the 'Chance for Change' cookbook to life at Coventry University not only showcases the rich and diverse cultures of our refugee and migrant communities but also highlights the power of entrepreneurship in creating sustainable change. This collaboration with Sodexo and Stop Hunger Foundation illustrates what can be achieved when business and education unite for a common good.”

Enactus UK & Ireland is a social action charity that works with academics and business leaders to support over 4,000 students each year to use business and innovation to create a better more sustainable world for us all.

Sodexo is the founding partner of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, a UK registered charity. In the UK & Ireland, the Foundation’s mission is to act sustainably to fight food insecurity and its work complements Sodexo's Social Impact pledge.

Thanks to the financial support of Sodexo, 100% of the donations made to Stop Hunger go directly to financing activities and sustainable solutions for disadvantaged communities to exit food insecurity.

The Foundation's work contributes to Sodexo’s global corporate responsibility commitment, Better Tomorrow 2025 which aligns to the Sustainable Development Goals designed by the UN to make the world a fairer and more equal place.

For more information Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation, please visit: