We redesigned service lines to create express options for students to access the fruit and vegetable bar, or purchase milk and hot/cold grab 'n go sack lunches. The increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, speed of service and meal participation has exceeded our initial expectations.
Philadelphia, PA (Vocus) August 27, 2009
Elementary students going back to school this fall will find more fresh fruits and vegetables on the lunch menu, along with more time to enjoy them.
ARAMARK Education, a leader in providing food and nutrition services at more than 4,000 schools nationwide, is opening 500 new Cool*Caf™ dining environments in schools across the country. Piloted in 2008, Cool*Caf showed a 50 percent increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, a 30 percent increase in speed of service and a 10-30 percent increase in meal participation, a key factor in determining federal funding for a school food service program.
Cool*Caf features a fresh fruit and vegetable bar, express service lines and hot/cold grab 'n go sack lunches. The concept also incorporates ARAMARK's wellness menus, which exceed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state-level nutrition guidelines by providing low and non-fat dairy options, lean protein choices, access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, increased fiber from whole grain products and reduced sodium.
"As part of the concept research with more than 2,500 students, parents and teachers across the country, ARAMARK determined that, on average, elementary students are only allotted 23 minutes for lunch," said Cathy Schlosberg, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Development, ARAMARK Education. "We redesigned service lines to create express options for students to access the fruit and vegetable bar, or purchase milk and hot/cold grab 'n go sack lunches. The increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, speed of service and meal participation has exceeded our initial expectations."
Cool*Caf transforms the school dining environment using bright colors, animation and student-inspired themes and messaging that promote good health. Nutrition mascots, ACE (a friendly fox) and his friends, Marcus, Ana, Zack and Lucy, communicate the importance of nutrition, exercise and getting plenty of sleep through a monthly program, consisting of live shows, posters and other educational materials distributed to students.
This new dining environment is another example of ARAMARK's ongoing commitment to health and wellness which includes promoting and expanding the availability of breakfast; offering healthy snacks; eliminating added trans fats; reducing the use of processed foods, added fats, sugar and salt; sourcing high quality, local produce and products; and advancing employee knowledge of nutrition and health principles.
ARAMARK has provided balanced nutrition programs to school districts for more than 50 years. One of America's largest employers of registered dietitians, ARAMARK is currently the only professional services provider to become an American Dietetic Association (ADA) Partner. ARAMARK works with the ADA to develop consumer education messages, to elevate awareness of registered dietitians as the nation's nutrition experts and to make a positive impact on public health.
About ARAMARK Health & Wellness:
ARAMARK reaches millions of people of all ages in our food & retail operations, serving more than two billion meals annually. We have 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. ARAMARK offers healthy food and beverage options to address nutrition and dietary priorities; promotes awareness through education and outreach programs; conducts research around food, nutrition and health trends; and partners with leading organizations to positively impact public health.
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: maintenance, custodial, grounds, energy management, construction management, and building commissioning. For more information on ARAMARK's K-12 food service programs, please visit http://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 the company's Web site, http://www.aramark.com, or http://www.twitter.com/aramarknews.
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