CHICAGO, Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago's Logan Square is home to a vibrant Latino community whose residents often struggle to afford healthy food and make positive lifestyle choices while also working hard to make ends meet. The diabetes rate among Puerto Ricans there, for example, is the highest in the country.
To help neighborhood children and families learn good nutrition habits that can lead to lifelong health, ARAMARK will establish an ARAMARK Building Community (ABC) Opportunity Zone focused on health and wellness at Casa Infantil, an early learning program of Casa Central—a network of community centers providing social services to the Chicago's Hispanic population since 1954.
This initiative will expand the partnership between Casa Central and ARAMARK, and enhance the center's existing community health and wellness programming dedicated to educating the parents of pre-kindergarten children. The ARAMARK team will support the center's Healthy Children Initiative, which teaches parents how to ensure that children select healthy meals and snacks throughout the year.
"Our employees are committed to empowering children and families in Chicago to lead healthier lives. That means providing year-round support and access to nutritional education with expert ARAMARK chefs and dietitians," said Jeff Connor, Chief Growth Officer for ARAMARK. "With thousands of our ARAMARK employees in the Chicagoland area ready and willing to volunteer their time, skills and expertise, we're confident that we can continue to bring positive change to this community."
The project is part of ARAMARK Building Community, the company's volunteer and philanthropic program that enriches lives by helping people improve their health, secure jobs and move out of poverty in Chicago and in 52 cities around the world.
"Casa Central is proud to continue its partnership with ARAMARK and to bring that support to Casa Infantil," said Ann Alvarez, President and CEO of Casa Central. "Over the past year, ARAMARK has been a great help in providing additional resources to our programs that have positively impacted the lives of hundreds of families in Chicago."
Today, ARAMARK employees will enhance outdoor areas to promote physical activity and nutrition learning for Casa Infantil's children. In addition, volunteers will construct tricycle tracks to inspire children to stay active, create educational nutrition and health murals, and upgrade the center's urban garden to help encourage children to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
Throughout the last year, ARAMARK has provided assistance for Casa Central's interim housing program, donated school supplies for the agency's Back-to-School drive, and spread cheer throughout the holiday season by donating gifts for children and sponsoring Casa Central's School-Age Program holiday party.
About Casa Central
Since 1954, Casa Central has grown to become the largest Hispanic social service agency in Chicago, transforming lives and strengthening communities. Our network of social services propels a diverse population of all ages toward self-sufficiency and a higher quality of life. For more information, visit www.casacentral.org.
About ARAMARK Building Community
ARAMARK Building Community enriches lives by helping families improve their health, secure jobs and move out of poverty. In partnership with community centers around the world, employee volunteers lend their nutrition, culinary, job readiness and facilities management expertise to ensure people can succeed. ARAMARK provides a range of resources, and since 2008 has invested more than $8 million in volunteer expertise, cash and in-kind resources to strengthen the capacity of local community centers, involving 18,000 ARAMARK volunteers through over 500 volunteer activities. Nearly 3.5 million individuals and families served by community centers in nearly 52 cities have been aided by the program. Visit ARAMARK for more information. Please join us on Facebook.
ARAMARK delivers experiences that enrich and nourish people's lives through innovative food, facility, and uniform services. Our more than 250,000 employees around the world demonstrate our corporate responsibility values every day, and we are recognized among the Most Admired Companies by Fortune and World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Contact: Mary Rucci, ARAMARK
Omar Van Opstal, Casa Central