Foodservice company Aramark is helping to support front-line workers during the coronavirus pandemic by opening pop-up convenience stores at healthcare facilities across the country, which serve as one-stop shops for doctors, nurses and hospital staff to grab groceries and necessities on their way home.
Aramark 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.
The company said it has opened more than 100 of these mini-marts, which 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.”
Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven opened a similar pop-up convenience store at a hospital in Dallas.
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
The company 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 the 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.