ARAMARK Building Community is a global philanthropic and volunteer program focused on strengthening the critical work of local community centers serving families in need. ARAMARK partners with local community centers around the world to address their primary areas of need – job readiness, nutrition and wellness, and access to safe and enriching neighborhood gathering places. Key partners in this initiative are nationally recognized nonprofit organizations, United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) and the Alliance for Children and Families.
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 in four countries, helping close to 3 million people in 50 cities.
Key elements of ARAMARK Building Community are:
- ARAMARK Building Community Opportunity Zones
Each ABC Opportunity Zone is a signature space, in or outside of a local community center, that is focused on one of three community issues: job readiness; nutrition & wellness; or safe and healthy spaces. ARAMARK employees create these spaces during large-scale volunteer days to provide underserved children and families opportunities to participate in educational programs, learn critical life and job skills, and explore new opportunities in a safe community space.
- Year-Round Volunteer Activities, Events, Programs, and Grants
Hundreds of additional local employee volunteer educational programs throughout the year, including career fairs; health & wellness fairs and nutrition classes; clothing and food collection drives; and holiday celebrations, among others. ARAMARK provides local and national grants through nonprofit partners to support these local job training activities; nutrition and wellness programs; and facilities enhancement needs, with both financial assistance and employee volunteer expertise.
- ARAMARK Building Community Innovation Awards
Annual awards program that celebrates and accelerates innovative and unique programs at nonprofit member organizations of UNCA and the Alliance nationwide aimed at improving lives, supporting families, and strengthening communities.
- Public Awareness
Advocacy for the critical role community centers play every day in addressing the needs of struggling families by speaking at related national conferences; generating media coverage on the issues; and engaging local government officials and policymakers through events.
Since 2008, through the program, ARAMARK has:
- Invested over $7 million in grants and in-kind resources to nonprofit partners
- Impacted the lives of nearly 3 million individuals and families
- Engaged more than 15,000 employees in volunteering
- Partnered with over 50 community centers on over 500 educational and enhancement programs and events
In 2012, ARAMARK will:
- Invest an additional $1 million in grants and in-kind resources to nonprofit partners
- Award $100,000 to community centers through the second annual ARAMARK Building Community Innovation Awards
- Support over 100 community center events with ARAMARK employee volunteers