Aramark, Heart Assoc. Team for Healthier Meals

Posted August 11, 2015 at 5:36 pm

Aramark, the corporate parent of Aramark Uniform Services, recently announced a joint effort with the American Heart Association to help improve the health of Americans by providing them with meals that contain 20% less saturated fat, calories and sodium by 2020. The initiative is expected to impact more than 2 billion meals that Aramark serves annually at thousands of schools, universities, businesses, hospitals, and sports and entertainment venues.

Dubbed Healthy For Life 20 By 20®, this joint initiative has set out several key goals, according to a news release. These include:

A 20% increase in the next five years in the quantity of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in meals that Aramark serves to its customer institutions.  

Achieving positive changes in menus through ongoing culinary and supply chain innovation, featuring health and wellness-inspired-recipe development, ingredient sourcing and menu design.

“Our mission at Aramark is to ‘Nourish and Enrich Lives,’” said Eric Foss, Aramark chairman, president and CEO. “We can use our culinary expertise and scale to help people lead healthier lives. Healthy for Life 20 By 20 is a single opportunity to pursue a shared vision with the American Heart Association and work with our customers and through the communities we serve to improve the well-being of Americans.”

American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown added that, “We are making progress in public health as a nation; we still have a long way to go. Experts have estimated that if the American public increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables to meet current public health recommendations, 127,000 lives could be saved each year.”

Beyond improving the healthy content of the meals it serves, Aramark also will pursue community health engagement programs, consumer health awareness and education, as well as thought leadership research and health- impact reporting. Community programs will focus on key underserved communities across the U.S., beginning in Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia, the release said. Consumer education and awareness programs will include heart-healthy simple cooking demonstrations and sampling, wellness workshops, and access to digital health and nutrition information.

The Aramark Charitable Fund is supporting the program with a multi-million dollar grant. Outreach efforts for Healthy For Life 20 By 20 have included the placement of full-page ads in newspapers, such as the Aug. 10 edition of The Washington Post. Click here to learn more about the program.