PHILADELPHIA, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federation of Neighborhood Centers (FNC) and ARAMARK, a global leader delivering food, facilities and uniform services, today announced a joint commitment to support families in struggling Philadelphia-area neighborhoods, where an estimated 307,000 people live in high-poverty areas and more than 10 percent of the population is unemployed.
ARAMARK and FNC, a network of 13 Philadelphia-area community centers, also announced they are expanding their reach into Camden, NJ, increasing their efforts to help people move from poverty to success, and reaching thousands of residents in 45 Philadelphia neighborhoods and the city of Camden.
This relationship is part of ARAMARK Building Community (ABC), the company's strategic philanthropic and volunteer program dedicated to enriching the lives of families around the world. ARAMARK will continue to collaborate with FNC and its 13 member community centers to develop and enhance sustainable programs with the goal of improving family health and nutrition, and preparing adults and youth for the workforce.
"Our employees have tremendous passion for helping people and giving back to the communities where we live and work," said Eric Foss, ARAMARK CEO and President. "We work hard every day to demonstrate our commitment to building local communities around the world, like those in our hometown of Philadelphia, and in the neighboring city of Camden. It's part of who we are and it's one of the many attributes that makes our people and our company so great."
In recognition of ARAMARK's continuing efforts to strengthen Philadelphia neighborhoods, Mayor Michael Nutter proclaimed June 13 as ARAMARK Building Community Day.
"ARAMARK is among our city's strongest corporate citizens. I commend them for their deep commitment to the Philadelphia community," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. "The future of our city depends on the partnership of government, the public sector, the private sector and companies like ARAMARK who roll up their sleeves to help tackle complicated issues. ARAMARK understands how critical community-based institutions are to creating sustainable and resilient neighborhoods."
Today, ARAMARK employees will create an ARAMARK Building Community Opportunity Zone focused on workforce readiness at FNC's Lutheran Settlement House in Fishtown, which provides social, educational and advocacy services to help people be self-sufficient. Volunteers will renovate five underutilized rooms at the facility, transforming them into an efficient workforce development resource center that will include a computer lab. The Lamp Safe, a Cherry Hill company that recycles electronics and other materials, will remove old PCs and equipment and help set up new computer stations.
ARAMARK volunteers will be teaching residents career competencies, help them create resumes, and work with them to practice interviewing and search for meaningful employment.
"Even adults who have worked for many years are having trouble finding employment due to the lack of a high school diploma or GED, or because they don't have sufficient skills to effectively search for work and obtain jobs," said Diane Cornman-Levy, Executive Director of the Federation of Neighborhood Centers.
Also today, ARAMARK employees will establish an ARAMARK Building Community (ABC) Opportunity Zone for health and wellness for the 1,600 residents Tamarack Apartments, a new FNC member in the northwest section of Camden, where obesity and nutrition-related chronic illnesses have been steadily rising.
This new educational resource will include a community garden where they can grow fresh fruit and vegetables, an outdoor classroom for nutrition programs and a new play space for children encouraging physical fitness. Throughout the year, ARAMARK volunteers will teach ongoing cooking and nutrition programs for families and how they can continue to eat healthy, fresh foods, using ingredients from the new community garden.
"ARAMARK employees provide our centers with much-needed resources," said Cornman-Levy. "These experienced volunteers have supported our centers time and time again during the six years of our partnership. They have made enhancements to all 13 of our sites, hosted multiple career fairs, strengthened our programs, and ultimately helped our families succeed and made our communities better places."
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 $7.5 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.
About The Federation of Neighborhood Centers
The Federation of Neighborhood Centers (FNC) is a network of 13 community-based institutions that provide programs and services to more than 40,000 children, youth, adults and families in 45 neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia each year. Created in 1906 to help build stronger neighborhoods by strengthening families and civic life, its mission is achieved by working with member agencies to collectively provide culturally sensitive programs and services that are critical to the well-being of inner city children, youth, adults, seniors and families. Since it was founded, the Federation has helped families find and keep homes, learn English, be trained to gain and keep employment, enhance children's educational achievement, recognize and encourage young people and work towards the creation of safer and more nurturing environments and neighborhoods.
Contact: Mary Rucci, ARAMARK