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ARBY'S ANNOUNCES NEW COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT -- NEIGHBORS IN NEED

 ARBY'S ANNOUNCES NEW COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT --
 NEIGHBORS IN NEED
 MIAMI, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning in July, Arby's restaurants across the nation will serve meals to needy families in a program targeted to those hit hardest by the recession.
 Arby's "Neighbors In Need Program" will assist families in crisis situations -- those dealing with a job loss, work reduction, and health problems. All of Arby's corporate-owned stores and a significant portion of the franchise system will participate.
 Each restaurant will select a local social services agency or religious organization that already works with families in emergency need and will distribute weekly meal cards to needy families. Both lunch and dinner will be provided to all family members for up to one month. Each month the restaurant will assist a different family. The program will be launched in summer because families have the most critical need for meal assistance at this time. During the school year, more than half of the nation's school children receive free or discounted school lunches.
 "Families in emergency situations are especially hard-pressed to supply three meals a day to their children," said Gaylon Smith, Arby's senior vice president of franchising. "We in the food business can -- and should -- play a role in alleviating hunger."
 According to the latest "Roper Report," on recession demographics, three in 10 households experienced some sort of unemployment problem in the past six months. The report also found that the nation's top two concerns are inflation (cited by 30 percent) and having enough money for bills (cited by 24 percent).
 The year-long "Neighbors In Need" program was developed in response to many Americans' need for short-term emergency assistance. In 1991, unemployment hit a seven-year high, and both The Department of Labor and The Congressional Budget Office project that this figure will continue rising in 1992. Neither office expects employment to return to pre- recession levels until at least 1996.
 Even many working people are finding their earning capacity eroding because of pay reductions, the cutback of hours by employers, and because of the scarcity of higher-paying manufacturing jobs. In the state of Georgia, for example, nearly 30 percent of those qualifying for food stamps hold jobs. In fact, one-third of all persons at the poverty level age 16 and over are members of the working poor. This accounts for approximately 6 million people nationwide.
 Arby's 250 corporate-owned restaurants alone will feed more than 3,000 families throughout the next year. With 60 percent of the franchise community participating, more than 15,000 families will be touched by this program. Approximately 3.6 million meals will be served, based on a family of four dining at Arby's twice a day for a month.
 "We in the private sector can reach out and make a difference in the communities where we do business," said Smith. "In fact, we at Arby's challenge others to look at the resources within their own companies and develop similar outreach programs."
 Arby's history of community involvement dates back several years to affiliations with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America (BB/BSA), Literacy Volunteers of America, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the United Negro College Fund. Over the last six years, Arby's and its franchisees have raised nearly $6 million for BB/BSA. In addition, the Arby's Foundation has awarded $240,000 in scholarship assistance since 1987.
 Arby's is the world's largest roast beef sandwich chain, with approximately 2,600 restaurants in the United States, Canada, Asia, the Middle East, Mexico and the Caribbean. In 1991, the company reached a record $1.5 billion in sales. Founded in 1964 with 20 employees, Arby's today has 75,000 employees worldwide and commitments for a total of 3,150 restaurants. Headquartered in Miami, Arby's is ranked as an industry leader in areas such as technology, product development, nutritional and consumer information, and community service.
 ARBY'S, INC.
 NEIGHBORS IN NEED PROGRAM
 NATIONAL STATISTICS
 FACT SHEET
 -- Three in 10 households have experienced some sort of employment problem in the past six months. ("Roper Reports")
 -- According to "Roper Reports" on recession demographics, national concerns are related to domestic issues. Top two national concerns are inflation, cited by 30 percent of respondents, and having enough money for bills, cited by 24 percent.
 -- In 1991, states cut programs for the poor more sharply than in any year since the early 1980s, according to the report on "The States And The Poor," December 1991, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
 -- Benefits under Aid to Families with Dependent Children, the basic cash assistance program for poor families with children, were reduced more in 1991 than in any year since 1981. Forty states froze or cut benefits. (Report on "The States And The Poor," December 1991, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.)
 -- Neither the administration nor the Congressional Budget Office project unemployment to return to pre-recession levels until at least 1996, according to statistics released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
 -- The percentage of working families at the poverty level rose nearly one-third in the past 11 years, from 8.6 percent in 1979 to 11.3 percent in 1990. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 21, 1991.)
 -- Many Americans have become part of the working poor because they have been forced into part-time or temporary work, or must accept lower wages in declining industries.
 -- The working poor made up about one-third of all persons age 16 and over living at the poverty level. (Department of Labor statistics)
 -0- 6/16/92 R
 /CONTACT: Lynn Sokler, Debbie Diamond or Caroline Duffy of Manning Selvage & Lee, 404-875-1444, for Arby's; or Mark Stine of Arby's, 305-866-1904/ CO: Arby's, Inc. ST: Florida IN: LEI SU:


BR-BN -- AT006 -- 0648 06/16/92 11:48 EDT
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Date:Jun 16, 1992
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