Philadelphia, PA, February 9, 2010 - ARAMARK, a leading provider of food and nutrition services to more than 3,000 K-12 schools nationwide, is proud to join First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama in her Let's Move campaign announced today, to reduce childhood obesity and make the nation’s schools models for healthier living.
“ARAMARK shares the First Lady’s goal to eliminate childhood obesity within the next generation,” said Dennis Maple, President of ARAMARK Education. “We understand the impact and importance of addressing the relationship between food choices, regular daily activity and obesity. By engaging the entire school community in wellness and nutrition education, we can empower millions of families to make healthy decisions for their children.”
As part of the First Lady’s initiative, ARAMARK, which serves about 300 million school meals annually, will support the USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge, a program which encourages schools to create healthier school environments through the promotion of good nutrition and physical activity.
For its part, ARAMARK will offer menu options that include more fruit, juice, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat and fat-free milk in reimbursable school lunches. The initiative also includes a longer-term commitment to meet the Institute of Medicine recommended standards for fat, sugar, and whole grains over the next 5 years, and the standards for sodium through a 5% annual reduction over the next 10 years by pursuing discussions with suppliers to develop products which meet those standards. In addition, the Company will work to double produce offered in school meals over the next 10 years.
Under the initiative, ARAMARK will work in a concerted effort with the White House, federal and state agencies, local school districts and others in the private sector to quadruple participation in the HealthierUS School Challenge and to increase nutrition education efforts aimed at students and parents.
ARAMARK’s current wellness commitment aligns well with the HealthierUS Schools Challenge and anticipated changes to the Child Nutrition Act. Through Cool*Caf™, the company’s elementary school dining environment, many schools have seen a 50 percent increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, a 30 percent increase in speed of service, and increases in meal participation, a key factor for schools seeking to increase federal funding for their food service program.
ARAMARK provides its school district partners with comprehensive nutrition education programs, including communications for students and parents, as well as a complete nutrition and activity curriculum for teachers. The Company’s nutrition mascot, ACE, visits hundreds of elementary schools each year and has a regular presence in ARAMARK-managed school districts through a themed monthly program, live shows, an interactive website, a poster series and activity sheets that can be used by the teaching staff and onsite food service staff. The ACE Fan Club website offers many interactive games, nutrition tips, activities and fun links designed to engage elementary students and parents in health and wellness
ARAMARK has provided quality food and nutrition programs to the K-12 community for over 55 years, and currently partners with over 500 school districts across the country. As one of America’s largest employers of dietitians, ARAMARK is the only professional services company to become an American Dietetic Association (ADA) Partner. ARAMARK is committed to health and wellness, and has a responsibility and the expertise to help educate, enable and encourage people of all ages to adopt healthier eating practices and more active lifestyles to help in the fight against obesity and other diseases.
About ARAMARK Education
ARAMARK Education provides a complete range of food, facility, uniform and other support services to more than 500 K-12 school districts in the U.S. It offers public and private education institutions a family of dining and facility services including: on-site and off-site breakfast and lunch meal programs, after-school snacks, catering, nutrition education, retail design and facilities management services, including maintenance, custodial, grounds, energy management, construction management, and building commissioning. For more information on ARAMARK Education’s K-12 food service programs, please visit www.aramarkschools.com.
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, and businesses around the world. In FORTUNE magazine's 2009 list of "World's Most Admired Companies," ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. 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 260,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at www.twitter.com/aramarknews.