PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As millions of secondary and college students say goodbye to summer and return to their schools and campuses, Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) has added 60 new clients to its Education business, one of the largest sectors in the company's $14 billion comprehensive services portfolio. Aramark provides food service, facilities management and uniforms wherever people learn, work, play and recover.
The company delivers dining and facility services to 1,100 K-12 and Higher Education institutions across the U.S. and Canada, creating vibrant living and learning environments for seven million students every school day. Aramark has been serving the Education sector for over 60 years as a market leader with more than 60,000 employees supporting its school customers. The company employs 270,000+ people globally across its businesses in 22 countries.
Aramark's newest Education partners include some of the country's premier colleges and universities, and major public school districts. Among new accounts are the University of Kentucky, St. Louis University, Bryant University, Georgia Gwinnett, Millsaps University and Morehouse College, as well as 40 school districts in Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.
In addition to new clients, during the summer vacation period the company renewed long-standing relationships with Baylor University, a 50+ year partner, and University of Virginia, a customer for over 20 years. Aramark also expanded its partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school system in the country with 400,000 students.
"Education institutions must balance escalating fiscal pressure with sensitivity over increasing tuition rates and simultaneous reductions in state and federal funding," said Eric Foss, Aramark's President and CEO. "By allowing us to effectively manage their non-academic functions like food and custodial services, our partners can focus their attention on fulfilling their core mission of educating and developing minds while deploying additional resources towards that vital goal."
Beyond providing food and facility services, Aramark helps higher education institutions attract students through innovative dining and retail environments. A Technomic industry report, tracking consumer trends in restaurant and dining, noted that students rank dining as the fourth factor they consider when selecting a college.
"Our higher education partners are leveraging this reality as an opportunity to attract and retain students in a highly competitive market," Foss added.
On over 600 campuses, Aramark creates and operates residential restaurants, c-stores and food courts featuring iconic brands such as Panera, Starbucks, Subway and Chick-fil-a. Aramark recently announced a limited pilot program with Starbucks for mobile coffee trucks being tested at Arizona State University, James Madison University (VA) and Coastal Carolina University (SC).
In addition, the company has embarked on an unprecedented public-private partnership with the University of Kentucky, Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Kentucky farmers to create a sustainable food economy through the "Food Connection at UK." This program, backed by a $5 million investment from Aramark, will enhance the production, consumption and distribution of local foods, while providing internships, fellowships and research grants.
In K-12 schools, Aramark plays a key role providing over 500 districts with a wide range of services encompassing: on and off-site breakfast, lunch and dinner, after school snacks, catering and nutrition education; support managing complex nutrition guidelines, while increasing student participation in food programs; retail design and operations; maintenance, custodial, grounds, energy and construction management; and building commissioning.
In food service alone, Aramark finds innovative ways to improve childhood nutrition through creative menus featuring ethnic flavors and healthier versions of student favorites, as well as through initiatives like the recently introduced Healthy Bites program, which encourages students to try free samples of unfamiliar foods to help them develop healthy eating habits in school and at home.
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) delivers experiences that enrich and nourish people's lives through innovative services in food, facilities management, and uniforms. United by a passion to serve, our more than 270,000 employees make a meaningful difference each day for millions of people in 22 countries around the world. Aramark is recognized among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
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