Aramark Launches Health and Wellness Educational Series for Families at Morristown Neighborhood House
For many families living in metropolitan centers, access to fresh, healthy food is a daily struggle. Combined with a lack of understanding about good nutrition, it can lead to diet-related health problems like obesity and diabetes.
Aramark is helping provide solutions to these issues, with a series of Healthy For Life™ health and wellness programs that will teach children and adults how to grow and prepare fresh, nutritious food.
Aramark volunteers kicked off the program by creating urban gardens on two playgrounds at Morristown Neighborhood House, a long-time Aramark Building Community partner. The new gardens will provide vegetables, fruit and herbs for families, many who do not have access to fresh, healthy food.
This initiative is part of Aramark Building Community, the company’s volunteer and philanthropic program that enriches and nourishes lives by helping families lead healthy lifestyles and succeed at work. Over the summer, Aramark culinary and nutrition experts will help harvest tomatoes, basil and other vegetables from the garden and work with children to create healthy meals like vegetable pizza. Volunteers will also conduct ongoing health and wellness workshops and lead a fitness day.
The Healthy For Life™ educational series is an extension of the center’s “Eat Right, Get Fit” program that helps families learn about nutritious foods and the benefits of exercise. Based on global trends and the input of Aramark chefs, dietitians and other experts, Healthy For Life™ combines nutritious food plus nutrition and wellness programs that work together to support healthy lifestyles.
“We’re so grateful for our partnership with Aramark, and for the programs they provide,” said Patrice Picard, CEO, Cornerstone Family Programs and Morristown Neighborhood House. “The gardens they helped us build will not only provide a source of fresh food for our neighborhood, it’s also great exercise and helps bring people together to socialize and create a strong sense of community.”
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, 14.2% of New Jersey low-income children under the age of five are obese, nearly one out of four (24.7%) New Jersey children aged 10-17 is overweight or obese. Experts from the Community Food Security Coalition say that just one 10’ x 10’ urban garden plot can provide most of a four-person household’s total yearly vegetable needs.
“Many families who work with Morristown Neighborhood House live in poverty. Providing healthy meals isn’t always easy for them, so we’re working with them to demonstrate it is possible, easy and affordable,” said Martha Lachawiec, Aramark Business Dining. “We’re excited to continue this work. It’s so rewarding to see how we’re benefitting these families.”