An ARAMARK Building Community Opportunity Zone was recently created focused on health and wellness education and awareness for families served by the Friendly Inn Settlement House.
Some 85 ARAMARK volunteers, with City Year support, built and will continue to maintain both a community garden and a new outdoor recreation area to help arm residents in the fight against obesity and chronic disease caused by poor nutrition and lack of exercise. The new garden will also create a source of fresh, healthy food and provide educational programming throughout the year about how small changes in eating habits and behaviors can change lives.
The August 1 event, with dozens of volunteers from ARAMARK and City Year, also launched a new partnership between ARAMARK and Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland as part of ARAMARK Building Community, the company’s commitment to enriching lives by helping people improve their health, secure jobs and move out of poverty both in Cleveland and in 52 cities around the world.
“There is not a better example of how we live our responsibilities as a company than through ARAMARK Building Community. Our employees’ passion for giving back to our communities is one of the things that makes our company so great,” said Eric Foss, ARAMARK CEO and president.
The Friendly Inn courtyard was transformed into a community fruit and vegetable garden and gathering space for children, with newly constructed benches and checkerboard tables set up around the area.
“This collaboration (with ARAMARK, City Year and Promise) extends the scope of our services beyond measure and for that we are truly grateful beyond. With that being said we will use our gratitude as a compass for our service,” said Joseph Black, MyCom Director at Friendly Inn.
The volunteers also added to Friendly Inn’s little library new benches and gardens to make it more inviting. The group also enhanced Friendly Inn’s food pantry and entryway and created murals that are hung throughout the center and built an outdoor planter and a Friendly Inn sign.
“Friendly Inn is a different place today,” said Susanna H. Krey, President of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.
City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, as well as Beverly Charles, representing Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and Meredith Turner, representing Senator Sherrod Brown, stopped by to support the effort.