CLEVELAND, Aug. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cleveland's Central neighborhood is a historically significant community, home to more than 10,000 children and families, but many have experienced decades of declining health and limited opportunities. With a nearly 80 percent child poverty rate, families in the Central neighborhood struggle to meet their daily basic needs and prepare nutritious meals to eat.
Today, ARAMARK will establish an ARAMARK Building Community (ABC) Opportunity Zone focused on health and wellness at the Friendly Inn Settlement House, a Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood partner of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. The Promise Neighborhood initiative is a vast and committed collaboration between residents, service providers, educators, funders and others who are working to ensure that children in Cleveland's Central Neighborhood are healthy and able to succeed academically.
ARAMARK is establishing this new hub of health and wellness education to promote healthy food behaviors and encourage good nutrition in the Central community. ARAMARK volunteers will build and help maintain both a community garden and new outdoor recreation area to help arm residents in the fight against obesity and chronic disease caused by poor nutrition and lack of exercise. The garden will create a source of fresh, healthy food, and volunteers will provide educational programming throughout the year about how small changes in eating habits and behaviors can change lives.
The event today launches a new partnership between ARAMARK and Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland as part of ARAMARK Building Community, the company's commitment to enriching lives by helping people improve their health, secure jobs and move out of poverty both in Cleveland and in 52 cities around the world.
"It takes strong, committed partners to improve the opportunities for families and children, and that's why we are thrilled to partner with ARAMARK. This collaboration will help strengthen the programs and services of Friendly Inn Settlement House and our other locations across the city. With help from ARAMARK, we are impacting hundreds of families and children, to enable them to live healthier and make the right nutritional choices," said Susanna H. Key, President of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.
This new relationship will help enhance the foundation's Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) initiative and the Promise Neighborhood initiative working to transform the Central neighborhood into a healthier place to live, learn, work, and play. Friendly Inn is committed to improving health outcomes and access to care for people living in poverty.
"Through ARAMARK Building Community, our employees share their passion for helping others," said Brent Franks, COO for ARAMARK Sports, Leisure and Corrections. "In Cleveland alone, we have thousands of employees working in health care facilities, stadiums and universities who are ready to volunteer their time, skills and expertise. We're giving millions of people the chance to lead healthy, successful lives."
To support the ongoing programs and maintenance of the ARAMARK Building Community Opportunity Zone established today, ARAMARK employees donated gardening supplies and sports equipment to keep the community garden blooming and support residents in their efforts to get fit and active. Throughout the year, ARAMARK will lead ongoing wellness workshops, demonstrate healthy cooking techniques, and teach nutrition education classes.
About Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland works to improve the lives of those most in need with special attention to families, women and children living in poverty. The foundation works to end homelessness in Cuyahoga County and to reduce health and education disparities in Cleveland's Central Neighborhood. As a faith-based organization, the foundation extends the values of Jesus Christ through the mission of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and also works to sustain the ministries of women religious.
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
Joan Mazzolini, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland