PHILADELPHIA, April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ARAMARK, the global professional services company, today announced a $1 million investment in grants, in-kind resources, and volunteer support to community centers in 2012 through ARAMARK Building Community (ABC), the company's signature volunteer and philanthropic program. The commitment includes $100,000 for the second annual ARAMARK Building Community Innovation Awards plus more than 100 employee volunteer projects around the world, and brings ARAMARK's total contribution to community centers to more than $7 million. ABC is dedicated to putting people to work; helping families lead healthier and more successful lives; and providing access to safe and enriching neighborhood gathering places by strengthening community centers.
"Employee volunteerism is at the heart of ARAMARK Building Community," says Joseph Neubauer, ARAMARK Chairman and CEO. "We are a company of people with unique talents and skills – culinary, hospitality, nutrition, facilities management – and when we put those skills to use in our communities, the results are amazing and the impact even greater. We're proud to expand our program and continue to help others realize their potential and contribute to strong families and thriving communities."
In 2012, ABC employee volunteer projects and educational programs will take place at local community centers across the U.S. and abroad. This includes the creation of 15 ARAMARK Building Community Opportunity Zones during the company's large-scale employee volunteer days. Each ABC Opportunity Zone will be a signature space within a community center that is focused on one of three key issues: job readiness; nutrition and wellness; or safe, healthy and environmentally friendly spaces. These efforts will allow underserved children and families to participate in educational programs, learn critical life and job skills, and explore new opportunities in a welcoming community space.
On May 2, ARAMARK will highlight the solution-driven work of community centers with the second annual ARAMARK Building Community Innovation Awards. The company will award $100,000 in grants, honoring one community center executive director for visionary leadership and three community centers for innovative programs that get people to work.
"It's vital for the public and private sectors to join together to be strong advocates for, and develop new and innovative ways to help, youth and families in the ever-changing 21st century," says Susan Dreyfus, President and CEO, Families International. "ARAMARK's deep and long-term support allows community centers to share information and resources, network, and work more collaboratively to integrate services that impact lives, revitalize neighborhoods, and strengthen communities," she said.
Since ARAMARK Building Community launched, ARAMARK has invested more than $7 million in volunteer expertise, cash and in-kind resources to strengthen the capacity of local community centers in four countries, helping close to 3 million people. ARAMARK partners with nationally recognized nonprofit Families International the parent of United Neighborhood Centers of America, Inc. (UNCA) and the Alliance for Children and Families as well as City Year to help these powerful and committed organizations transform their spaces and programs into opportunities for millions of children and families.
To date, more than 15,000 ARAMARK employees have participated in nearly 500 volunteer activities with 50 community center partners. On any given day one might find ARAMARK dieticians teaching cooking and nutrition classes for parents; human resource professionals discussing career or college opportunities with at-risk students; facilities managers refurbishing a weed-covered, inner-city ball field; or uniform services teams supporting a clothing drive.
Key 2012 Dates (as of 4/16/12)
May 2, ARAMARK Building Community 2012 Innovation Awards Announcement – Webinar and Facebook
May 3, ARAMARK Building Community Center Enhancement Day – Miami
May 18, ARAMARK Building Community Center Enhancement Day – London
June 14, ARAMARK Building Community Center Enhancement Day – Philadelphia
June 28, ARAMARK Building Community Center Enhancement Day –Boston
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, 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.
Mary Rucci, ARAMARK