Students at charter and private schools, including several in the East Valley, who buy healthy school lunches from Dishes2U™ this fall will also support the quality of education in two Title I schools, thanks to a plan by an entrepreneur who wants to give back to her community.
Dishes2U™, a program that lets students order lunches prepared and delivered by a variety of local restaurants, has announced plans to donate a percentage of its 2015 profits “where it can make the most difference,” Devi Orlandella, Dishes2U™ founder and president, said in a press release.
“We give a percentage (average 20 percent to 25 percent) back to the actual school itself and then an additional penny per order to the two Phoenix schools,” Gary Manton, Dishes2U™ vice president of sales and marketing, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “We expect to donate close to $15,000 back to all of the schools this year,” he said.
“Our concierge catering program has been blessed,” Ms. Orlandella-Manton said in the release, “and now we want to share our success with two Valley Title I schools – Maryvale and Teleos Preparatory Academies in Phoenix.” At federally designated Title I schools, she explained, at least 40 percent of the students are from low-income families who truly need assistance.
“The problem is not just that Title I students start with fewer family resources,” Ms. Orlandella-Manton said. “Their economic status means their parents are often financially unable to take advantage of the opportunity to supplement their schools’ funding through Arizona’s school tax credits, a system that provides significant support for schools in more affluent communities. We want to do our part to help make up for that deficit,” Ms. Orlandella said in the release.
“We are grateful to Ms. Orlandella and Dishes2U™ for supporting the two Title 1 academies in the Great Hearts network, Maryvale Prep and Teleos Prep,” Rachel LeBeau, development officer for Great Hearts Academies said in the release. “This partnership will allow Great Hearts to continue to support our young students in the urban core, their families, and the teachers who serve them daily.”
Dishes2U™, the entrepreneurial school lunch service, started five years ago when her own children were in middle school, Ms. Orlandella said in the release.
A food service professional with extensive experience in marketing, organizational management and sales, Ms. Orlandella created a program through which students in her children’s schools could order healthy, tasty lunches at discounted group prices from a variety of popular local restaurants who delivered directly to the schools.
Other area schools that heard about the pilot Dishes2U™ program were eager to get in on the concierge catering service. By the 2014 school year, Dishes2U™ found itself serving over 40,000 school meals. Their business projections show sales are expected to more than double during the 2015 school year, according to the release.
“We’re excited about the positive response to our efforts,” Ms. Orlandella said, “but the best part about success is that it means we have the ability to give back where help is most needed.”
East Valley schools that are serviced by Dishes2U™ include Archway Arete, 4525 E. Baseline Road in Gilbert; Archway Chandler, 1951 N. Alma School Road in Chandler; Archway Lincoln, 2250 S. Gilbert Road in Chandler; Bright Beginnings, 400 N. Andersen Blvd. in Chandler; and New Vista, 670 N. Arizona Ave. in Chandler.
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