PHILADELPHIA — Foodservice company Aramark is helping to support front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic by opening pop-up convenience stores at healthcare facilities across the country, to serve as one-stop shops for doctors, nurses and hospital staff to grab groceries and necessities on their way home. The company has opened more than 100 of the stores, it said.
The company is transforming existing retail spaces into small grocery stores offering a variety of fresh baked goods, bread, milk, eggs, nonperishable items, paper towels, health and beauty aids and more.
These mini-marts stock basic and hard-to-get items that Aramark sources through its large distributor network.
“We are thankful for the dedicated front-line healthcare providers, who day in and day out treat and care for patients during this pandemic,” said Jeff Gilliam, president of Aramark’s Healthcare division. “Creating these pop-up grocery stores is our way of providing a small convenience for them to procure essential items they need.”
Aramark is reconfiguring its traditional service model with new solutions, service methods and safety protocols including the following adjustments to maximize safety and social distancing:
- Implementing take-home meals.
- Offering pre-packaged, grab-and-go meals and snacks.
- Reimagining hot bars, salad bars and micromarkets.
- Offering produce market-box programs.
Aramark also has partnered with the Debra and Leon Black Family, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Robin Hood and the American Red Cross to launch NYC Healthcare Heroes Fund and provide up to 500,000 packages of food, household and personal care products to New York City hospital staff.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Aramark has provided 36 million free meals to students in nearly 300 school districts across the country, and it continues to serve 1 million meals to school children daily. It has also redeployed its Uniform Services division production lines to manufacture essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for the people working in hospitals and in other critical roles. It expects to produce millions of masks, scrubs and isolation gowns, the company said. Aramark has donated more than 175,000 pounds of food and PPE to local organizations. The company has also mobilized its emergency relief and large-scale event expertise to aid temporary field hospital operations in various cities.
Philadelphia-based Aramark serves educational institutions, companies, sports teams, healthcare providers, destinations and cultural attractions and municipalities in 19 countries around the world. It offers services in food, facilities management and uniforms. It also operates more than 700 P.O.D. (Provisions on Demand) c-stores in schools, stadiums, corporate offices and other institutions in 46 states.