HOUSTON, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As Houston joins the nation in celebrating National Philanthropy Day, Neighborhood Centers Inc., which brings resources, education and connection to more than 340,000 individuals and families in Texas, today announced that ARAMARK will be the official sponsor of its health and wellness education and awareness program, Health and Wellness. For Good. Since 2007, ARAMARK, the global professional services company, has contributed more than 4,500 volunteer hours and invested more than $1 million in financial support and in-kind resources to strengthen Neighborhood Centers and Houston communities.
"Our relationship with ARAMARK is the most comprehensive corporate partnership we've had, and it demonstrates our values alignment and what comprehensive and strategic corporate philanthropy should look like," said Angela Blanchard, President and CEO of Neighborhood Centers Inc. "Our neighborhoods face high rates of many nutrition-related chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes. ARAMARK works with us to help families overcome these barriers, by providing the expertise to help people learn to live healthier lives. We are excited about their commitment to our health and wellness movement and how our partnership can transform communities. For good."
ARAMARK and Neighborhood Centers entered into a strategic relationship five years ago, to develop critical, high-impact programs to strengthen Houston families. The relationship is part of ARAMARK Building Community (ABC), the company's global volunteer and philanthropic program that enriches the lives of families in need by supporting and strengthening community centers.
"At ARAMARK, and we care about Houston and the city's vitality and success," said Marc Bruno, president, ARAMARK Sports & Entertainment. "Neighborhood Centers is Houston's leading non-profit social services organization and is doing the hard work that is transforming communities. We are proud of our collaboration and our collective impact, and pleased to expand and enhance this commitment through the support of the Health and Wellness. For Good. effort."
ARAMARK's extended commitment as the primary sponsor of Neighborhood Center's health and wellness programs is part of the organization's "For Good" a movement to transform communities in Houston by encouraging people to build on the strength of their community, take action, share best practices, and advocate for better programs to create lasting impact.
The new initiative kicks off today with the establishment of an ARAMARK Building Community Opportunity Zone that will be an ongoing hub of health and wellness education at the Ripley House Community Center. Nearly 100 ARAMARK volunteers will give their time, talents and energy to build a community garden to grow healthy fruits and vegetables, and an outdoor classroom where residents can learn about growing and cooking fresh food, and how to live healthier lifestyles. ARAMARK employees also donated gardening tools and supplies, seeds and fertilizer for the garden. Throughout the year, ARAMARK will leverage the expertise of its dietitians and culinary professionals to support to develop and implement a variety of community health and education programs:
- ARAMARK Building Community Eat Smart Zones by ARAMARK chefs at Neighborhood Centers' health fairs -- dietitians and chefs will host healthy cooking demonstrations, provide one-on-one nutrition counseling and share educational information.
- ARAMARK Healthy for Life youth education designed to engage children and teach them about the elements of a healthy diet.
- ARAMARK Everyday Wellness workshops for adults, that provide information on topics like weight management, diabetes, and shopping for health food.
During their partnership, ARAMARK has supported Neighborhood Centers with grants, volunteers and programs, ranging from job readiness workshops for youth to community health and wellness educational seminars at health fairs and holiday parties. ARAMARK also supported the opening of the Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center in 2010. In addition, in 2011 President and CEO Angela Blanchard was honored as the first winner of the ARAMARK Building Community Executive Leadership Award for her pioneering work in community revitalization.
About Neighborhood Centers Inc.
Neighborhood Centers brings resources, education and connection to more than 340,000 people throughout Texas each year. For more than a century, Neighborhood Centers has offered comprehensive community-based programs for people at every stage of life, from infants to seniors. The organization works with residents of emerging communities in 60 service locations to help them discover the strengths and skills necessary to become productive, prosperous and self-sufficient. Building on the strengths of individuals and communities, Neighborhood Centers is transforming them. For Good. For more information, visit www.neighborhood-centers.org.
About ARAMARK Building Community
ARAMARK Building Community enriches the lives of families in need by supporting local community centers to help people of all generations learn, earn and thrive. ARAMARK recognizes the important role community centers play in addressing the comprehensive needs of individuals and families and is providing a range of resources including grants, volunteers and in-kind contributions. Since 2008, ARAMARK has invested more than $7 million in volunteer expertise, cash and in-kind resources to strengthen the capacity of local community centers, involving 16,000 ARAMARK volunteers through over 500 volunteer activities. Nearly 3 million individuals and families served by community centers in nearly 50 cities have been aided by the program through workforce training and job placement; nutrition education and awareness programs; access to food and clothing; and by having a safer place to learn and thrive. Visit ARAMARK for more information. Please join us on Facebook.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, parks and destinations and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute, one of the "World's Most Admired Companies" by FORTUNE magazine and one of America's Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 250,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at www.twitter.com/aramarknews.
Contact: Mary Rucci, ARAMARK