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ARA SERVICES IS AT FOREFRONT OF EMERGING SCHOOL FOOD SERVICE TRENDS IN 90S

 PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- From food courts to fast food franchises and professional management companies, food service at elementary and secondary schools is taking on a new look and "pizzazz" in the 1990s, according to Liz Jones of ARA Services.
 "Food courts, which have become so popular at college campuses, are beginning to appear in high schools and middle schools," said Jones, vice president of School Nutrition Services, a division of ARA. "Also, some major fast food franchises are exploring school food service.
 "And districts are turning more to professional management companies who can offer not only food courts and national brands but a variety of their own exciting, nutritious food programs to complement a district's needs. We're seeing more partnerships between management companies and school districts."
 A health-conscious society continues to focus more on the food it consumes and school food service menus reflect the trend. "Children have higher expectations than ever before and parents, teachers and school principals demand it," Jones said.
 ARA provides lunch every day to more than 1 million students in more than 280 school districts nationwide. About 90 percent of local schools still operate their own food service.
 "School food service offers real opportunities in the 90s," said Jones. "New food service partnerships can improve a school district's lunch program dramatically while saving dollars. These savings can help maintain other vital functions and activities in schools."
 Jones said professional management companies like ARA offer comprehensive services to schools, ranging from the atmosphere in a cafeteria to nutrition education and catering options.
 "We retain the same food service employees who worked the front lines before we arrived," said Jones. "We reinforce their efforts, however, with the training and resources of an experienced, successful international company.
 "We provide professional food service emphasizing menu management, food handling safety, marketing, merchandising, nutrition education and recycling programs. And the key ingredient is pizzazz!
 "We are not about cost-cutting; we are about improving participation. We want children to want to eat in the lunchroom and employees to feel the pride of serving wholesome, exciting meals."
 And Jones said ARA meets or exceeds USDA nutritional guidelines for food served in the nation's schools.
 "The goal is to serve students nutritious and appealing lunches at an affordable price in an inviting atmosphere," Jones said. "More and more, school districts will be striving for excellence in their core business of education, while service companies like ARA will be the solution for excellence in food service, our core business."
 ARA Services provides fully integrated services in the food/leisure, textile rental/maintenance, health/education, and magazine and book distribution fields.
 ARA is an employee-owned company with more than 124,000 employees worldwide and $5 billion in 1992 sales.
 /delval/
 -0- 9/9/93
 /CONTACT: Tom Haertsch of ARA Services, 215-238-6129/


CO: ARA Services ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 9, 1993
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