Aramark outlines wellness plan for schools

Contract feeder's program includes more healthful food, education tools

Contract feeder Aramark Corp. has unveiled a wellness and nutrition education program designed to improve the health and academic potential of students throughout the country.

Aramark's Healthy for Life program is part of its commitment to first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, which is aimed at fighting the nation's childhood obesity problem.

Officials for the Philadelphia-based on-site foodservice provider said the program would include more nutritious menu items, wellness education and resources for parents.

“Obesity and poor health is rampant in our country and our children are particularly at risk,” said Dennis Maple, president of Aramark’s K-12 education division. “Given the number of children [the company] touches each day, this issue has moved to the forefront of our mission.

"We can make a difference in every school Aramark serves by engaging the entire school community — parents, administrators, educators and students — to work together toward a lifetime of good health," he added.

As part of the program, Aramark said it would offer more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low and nonfat dairy options on its school lunch menus. The contractor also said it would continue to work on reducing fats, sugar and salt in the foods it serves as well as eliminate added trans fats, offer nutrient-dense snacks, and source more local produce and products.

In addition, Aramark said it would promote and expand the availability of breakfast to students.

Aramark spokesman Dave Gargione said the program is available at 600 of the 3,000 schools it services throughout the United States.

Contact Elissa Elan at [email protected]