Aramark Presents $162,000 Check to WCU to Help Swipe-Out Student Hunger

West Chester University (WCU) students experiencing food insecurities, including those who are student-athletes, will benefit greatly from a generous gift of $162,000 from Aramark that was presented formally to WCU President Chris Fiorentino on Wednesday, September 22, under the iconic arches of Philips Memorial Building, 700 South High Street, West Chester. In addition to its $112,000 philanthropic support of WCU students, Aramark, which is currently the Presenting Sponsor of the University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, presented the check to also support five WCU 14 meal-per-week plans ($14,000), food donations for Sports Nutrition Fueling Stations ($16,000), and funding to support a graduate assistant position to manage Sports Nutrition Fueling Stations ($20,000). The presentation of the $162,000 check was the largest single gift made to WCU by Aramark, a leader in the customer service business across food, facilities and uniforms.

Those participating in Wednesday’s check presentation included:

  • Dr. Christopher Fiorentino, President of West Chester University
  • James Hess, Resident District Manager, Higher Education, Aramark
  • Alicia Kent, Regional Vice President, Aramark
  • Christopher Mominey, WCU Foundation CEO
  • Dr. Zebulun R. Davenport, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Dr. Scott Heinerichs, Dean, College of Health Sciences
  • Terence Beattie, Director of Athletics
  • Dr. Christine Karpinski, Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition
  • Helen Hammerschmidt, Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations
  • Matthew Dade ’23, WCU Student Athlete, Men’s Basketball
  • Olivia Rudjord, Graduate Student & Student-Athlete, Women’s Volleyball
  • Sarah Holweg ’22, WCU Student-Athlete, Women’s Basketball
  • Kyle McGee ’23, WCU Student-Athlete, Men’s Basketball

The much-needed gift comes at a critical time in WCU students’ lives. In survey data collected last year, approximately 40% of WCU students reported experiencing some type of basic needs insecurity, including not having enough food to eat.

“For more than 30 years, Aramark has partnered with WCU to provide nutritional and educational opportunities for Golden Rams,” said WCU President Chris Fiorentino. “On the occasion of West Chester University’s 150th Anniversary, our students are able to benefit from the continued generosity of a company that recognizes the dangers of food insecurity and the importance of access to healthy food choices. As a Presenting Sponsor of the University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, Aramark’s assistance provides the priceless essentials that our students need to nourish their minds while fueling their lives. We are deeply grateful to this important partner.”

West Chester University is committed to student success at every level of the college experience, including athletics. For student-athletes, nutrition is one of the key components for achieving optimal health and athletic performance. The Sports Nutrition Education and Fueling Program helps more than 100 student-athletes each semester. Under the supervision of Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition Christine Karpinski, an exercise physiologist and registered dietician, a combination of undergraduate students, graduate students, and dietetic interns provide nutrition education to student-athletes, including one-on-one consultations, individualized meal plans, team talks, and Q&A sessions; they also conduct research in these areas.

Fueling stations are key components of the program. While nutrition education helps guide student-athletes to make healthier food choices, healthy snacks at practice and “Go Bags” for away games or for athletes running from practice to class, provide nutrition at key points throughout the day. A typical fueling station may include fruit, vegetables, trail mix, granola bars, whole-grain snack chips, pretzels, popcorn, cheese sticks, yogurt, and chocolate milk. It would cost approximately $75,000 to provide a centralized fueling station to all WCU athletes who are in-season.

“Aramark is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of WCU’s Sesquicentennial Celebration,” said James Hess, Resident District Manager, Higher Education, Aramark. “Through this sponsorship and our philanthropic support of the University and Student Affairs, we are able to create opportunities for students and the local community.  As we foster accessibility to food and build community relationships, we look forward to a bright future.”

Sponsors of West Chester University’s 150th Anniversary
Celebrations throughout West Chester University’s 150th Anniversary year are made possible by the generosity of community partners. Presenting Sponsor: Aramark. Platinum Sponsors: Student Services, Inc. and West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. Diamond Sponsors: Essential Utilities and WCU Alumni Association. Gold Sponsor: BB&T (Now Truist). Bronze Sponsors: IMS Technology Services and Meridian Bank. Purple Sponsors: Barnaby’s West Chester; Clark Associates, Inc.; First Bank; MacElree Harvey; Northwestern Mutual; PSECU; Radius Systems; SEI Investments Company; TD Bank; Univest Financial; and Visual Sound.

About Aramark
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world with food, facilities, and uniform services. Because our culture is rooted in service, our employees strive to do great things for each other, our partners, our communities, and our planet. Aramark has been named to DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” list, the Forbes list of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity,” the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and scored 100% on the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at and connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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