PHILADELPHIA, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than 100 years, the Federation of Neighborhood Centers (FNC) has been building strong neighborhoods in Philadelphia, working with member community centers to benefit children, families and communities. ARAMARK, the Philadelphia-headquartered global professional services company, joined FNC five years ago to strengthen and support their programs investing more than $1 million in financial, in-kind and volunteer support, impacting all 11 FNC member community centers supporting 45 Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Today, hundreds of ARAMARK volunteers celebrate the partnership and will establish ARAMARK Building Community (ABC) Opportunity Zones at two FNC member centers – Legacy Christian Academy in Southwest Philadelphia and Grace Safe Place in the West Oak Lane section of the city. The ABC Opportunity Zones will create safe spaces at the centers, which are in dire need of renovation, and provide vibrant environments for education, youth enrichment programs and other vital programs and services. The event is part of ARAMARK Building Community, the company's global volunteer and philanthropic program that supports community centers, strengthens neighborhoods and helps struggling families.
In 2012, ARAMARK will host more than 100 new volunteer projects worldwide, including creating 15 ABC Opportunity Zones focused on job readiness; nutrition and wellness; or safe and environmentally friendly spaces around the world.
"When ARAMARK employees come together on days like this, we're demonstrating how deeply we care about the vitality and success of our city and its residents," added David Carpenter, President, ARAMARK Healthcare. "Through ARAMARK Building Community, today and year-round, our facilities experts help create safer environments for children, culinary leaders teach kitchen skills or our human resource professionals offer career advice to residents. We're helping people succeed and build stronger communities each and every day."
"Our partnership with ARAMARK benefits Philadelphia's neighborhoods in countless ways," said Diane Cornman-Levy, Executive Director of the Federation of Neighborhood Centers. "The passion, commitment and hard work of ARAMARK employees provides our member agencies with immediate improvements that the facilities desperately need along with the ongoing support of volunteers who come back to our centers time and time again to strengthen our programs. ARAMARK demonstrates a true commitment and caring we haven't seen from other corporations."
ABC Opportunity Zones Add Safe and Comfortable Environments for Philadelphia Residents
Legacy Christian Academy at 6208 Grays Ave. in Southwest Philadelphia has been providing a stimulating learning environment and other services for children and their families for more than three decades. When the school lost its lease and was suddenly displaced after 20 years, it struggled to quickly identify a location that would meet its needs and serve as a long-term home. Legacy found a stable home, but one that needs multiple improvements to be able to continue to provide the same quality programs in a safe and comfortable environment.
"This makeover is a miracle," said Lanette Fuller, executive director of Legacy Christian Academy. "When we lost our lease, we were forced to find a new home in less than a month. The new classroom areas, inspirational murals, storage space and playground improvements that ARAMARK volunteers are providing will make our new home far more conducive to learning, and will also create a safe place where our children can play and exercise in the fresh air."
A second group of employee volunteers will enhance the pantry and educational areas at Grace Safe Place on 7101 North 20th St. in West Oak Lane. Located in the basement of Grace United Methodist Church, the community center operates a pre-school, food pantry, clothing donations and other services for families. In addition, ARAMARK will provide ongoing kitchen and food safety educational programs for youth and adults and today donated more than 100 pieces of safety equipment for children, such as helmets, bike reflectors, and other items.
During their partnership, FNC and ARAMARK have helped people get back into the workforce, by hosting workforce readiness seminars and career fairs; taught families to avoid obesity and chronic diseases through health and wellness educational programs; and worked to create thriving neighborhoods with numerous facility enhancements, holiday parties and donated food, coats, books, toys and more.
About The Federation of Neighborhood Centers
The Federation of Neighborhood Centers (FNC) is a network of 11 community-based institutions that provide programs and services to more than 75,000 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 wellbeing 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.
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 15,000 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