variety vegetables and hard boiled egg

Why Aramark Student Nutrition Dining Services?

The Partner You Can Trust to Care As Much As You Do

student eating food
At Aramark Student Nutrition, we believe food powers potential. That’s why our culinary and hospitality teams are empowered to proudly and passionately serve healthy, tasty foods capable of bringing out the best in every student. We know students are savvy with their food choices. We make sure to provide them with inspiring culinary options that grow their palates and keep them coming back for more.”  
Barbara Flanagan, Aramark Student Nutrition President and CEO
Aramark is the largest independent provider of dining services in North America, handling the entire scope of school nutrition programs, from menu creation to staff training.

Over 360 successful district partnerships

Nearly 370 million meals per year

More than 2 million children fed

Our goal is to support each district’s educational mission by providing the highest-quality nutrition program with the most variety so your students are prepared for successful futures.

We employ continuous improvement and innovation using proven systems and strategies while developing customized solutions for each school. This helps districts thrive financially while students receive nutritious, tasty meals.


Achieving District Dining Success

of K-12 students report the reason they don’t eat school breakfast is the foods offered are not appealing/not tasty 1

of kids ages 8-18 report they only eat a school lunch when there is something they know they like being served 2


of students 13-20 say they would most prefer lots of variety on a menu over a focused menu 3

A growing number of school districts are choosing to outsource their nutrition program for several reasons, including working with experts who deliver culinary expertise, satisfying meals, meeting USDA demands and creating dining innovations.

We help school districts manage all aspects of their nutrition programs so that students get the nutrition they need to power their potential.

Recipe and Menu Development

Food Purchasing



Financial Management


USDA Compliance

Staff Training and Development

Our expertise allows us to utilize resources not available to self-operated programs and generates dining revenue that can be reinvested into the program and district. We deliver self-sustaining foodservice programs without relying on district general funds, so those dollars can be used for education.

Providing students a safe and happy environment to maximize their potential is your mission. Aramark Student Nutrition is here to ensure you can achieve your top priorities.


Trust Us to Make the Transition

We’re helping districts across the country exceed their dining objectives by providing students with healthy food they love and meeting federal regulations — all while staying within budget and driving revenue back to districts to reinvest. Drawing on over 60 years of experience, we bring innovation to meal programs, wellness education, and after-school and summer meals — all based on schools’ unique needs and feedback from our annual Student ViewPOINT™ survey of students’ dining needs, attitudes and behaviors.

Meal Participation with Delicious Meals

IMPACT — Create custom, inclusive campus dining programs that increase student satisfaction, campus pride and retention

Students who participate in school meals consume more whole grains, milk, fruits, and vegetables and have better overall diet quality than those who do not participate.4

Our chefs and dietitians provide students fresh and enticing menus to get them excited about food that takes into account student and community feedback and district resources. Our approach includes:

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Menus that exceed USDA regulations


Student Nutrition Chef Culinary Alliance

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Student Advisory Councils for Menu Input

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Local and Global Flavors

Our commitment to community feedback and the latest insights sets us apart. We gather feedback through a variety of methods to ensure we have a deep understanding of every district we serve. In turn, these critical insights drive our culinary development, student engagement, and community involvement.

This has led to "One Meal a Day for the Planet" for Pender County Schools recognizing Aramark as a Top 5 for Menu Diversity, Nutritious & Climate-Friendly Foods and Food Management Magazine highlighting Aramark for 5 of 11 of the Best K-12 Meals.

students in cafeteria food line

We value student and community feedback to create great menus.

  • Taste tests
  • Focus groups
  • Annual Student ViewPOINT™ survey
  • Parent, operator, and client surveys
  • School Board Meetings
  • PTAs

Aramark Student Nutrition chefs have created 7,000+ K-12 recipes, including over 250 new recipes each year!

Community Involvement and Wellness Education

IMPACT — Innovative partnerships that ensure each plate includes locally sourced, vitamin-rich foods.
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FarmLogix/Open Fields

Menus with locally grown food give students an opportunity to better understand the value of sound nutrition. They also satisfy parents’ desire for their children to consume fresher, healthier food. Our collaborations with local and diverse supply chain partnerships allow us to bring more local foods to school districts, like fruit, vegetables, and dairy.

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Food Insecurity and Other Local Needs

As our Aramark Student Nutrition teams work to fight food insecurity and hunger, we also identify other needs and work with local partners to meet those needs, including:

  • ABC Day: Each year, more than 10,000 employees also volunteer through Aramark Building Community, making a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.
  • Culinary Arts: Aramark works with local chefs across the country to introduce students to new and exciting foods, expose kitchen staff to new recipes and culinary methods, and showcase culinary arts career paths for students.
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Healthy for Life® Experiences

Through Healthy for Life®, the American Heart Association and Aramark empower healthier choices and healthier lives. Healthy for Life® offers 39 turn-key “Experiences” that promote community wellness education. Positive outcomes from these Healthy for Life® Experiences have been validated by AHA research. 

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Focusing on ongoing innovation, we launched our new FeedYourPotential365™ program to provide parents and guardians resources for healthier choices.

Those reporting ‘adequate’ or ‘very adequate’ cooking skills in emerging adulthood (age 18-23 years) were more likely to eat 3+ servings of vegetables per day later in adulthood than those reporting inadequate cooking skills.5

tomatoes and basil

Expertise in USDA Regulations

IMPACT — Your district stays ahead of regulatory demands and changes.

Aramark Student Nutrition brings proven resources, expertise and a proactive approach to navigate the challenging school nutrition regulatory environment, including the USDA Nutrition Standards for School Meals. Our strategy for recipe and menu development and education programs uses the science-based frameworks outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for America and MyPlate.

student getting beverage

Talent Acquisition and Retention

IMPACT — Your program is supported by the strongest possible foundation.

Aramark is dedicated to employee recruitment, enrichment and advancement programs so we are better poised to keep your existing staff happy while recruiting talent for day-to-day operations and managerial positions. We recruit more than 3,000 hires each year from community partners, as well as numerous channels, including job assistance programs for diverse hires. 

We focus on onboarding essentials and ongoing coaching, and always provide teams with the right tools, materials and training to be successful starting on Day 1. We also proactively offer wage increases, superior benefits and employee reward and recognition programs that provide incentives for employees to build careers with your district. 

We also utilize the best technology to support staff. 

  • Allie is our dedicated 24/7/365 personal job assistant powered by Paradox A.I. Allie conducts candidate and employee care to answer hundreds of different questions about our culture, benefits and more. Allie also allows our partner districts to generate applications faster via chat and text message while qualifying candidates at scale through natural conversations.
  • Our partnership with DailyPay provides financial flexibility and confidence to your employees — resulting in maximized recruitment and retention.
allie virtual assistant

87% of employers agree that increasing employee retention is an essential part of their ongoing strategy.6

Improve Budget Performance

IMPACT — Optimized investment, increased revenue, and cost management.
Creating a school nutrition program that excites students requires smart, strategic investment, and effective financial management. Partners of Aramark Student Nutrition benefit from our extensive experience to identify and recommend the right investments for each school’s needs, including:
students getting food

Equipment to expand culinary offerings

High-quality, local ingredients


Meal distribution outside the cafe

Coffee and smoothie shops

Convenience markets

Mobile grab-and-go carts

On top of generating revenue through increased participation, Aramark Student Nutrition partners see improvements to their school nutrition funds through a variety of best-in-class practices.

National purchasing volume efficiency

Reduced food waste with effective storage training

Commodity maximization through Local, DOD, Brown Box, and Diversions

Reduced employee turnover and time-to-fill

Right-sized procurement over warehousing

There are so many priorities for admins:

Increase meal participation, sharpen USDA regulation expertise, recruit and retain talent, and provide wellness education that extends into the community — all while improving budget performance. This Herculean task often competes for time and attention with your main goal of providing students a world-class education.

Aramark Student Nutrition's comprehensive portfolio of services and programs, well-trained teams, and a commitment to ongoing innovation create the perfect partnership so you can continue focusing on your main mission while further powering the potential of your students and your community through culinary experiences.

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Find out how Aramark Student Nutrition can create the impact you need to see in your school district.

  1. Mathematica Policy Research, in Partnership with Abt Associates Inc.: School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study Volume 4: Student Participation, Satisfaction, Plate Waste, and Dietary Intakes (April 2019)
  2. Y-Pulse: Understanding Tomorrow’s Tastemakers Today Report (2018)
  3. Datassentials, Generations of Change: Gen Z Mindset
  4. Fox MK, Gearan E, Cabili C, et al. School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study, Final Report Volume 4
  5. Self-Perceived Cooking Skills in Emerging Adulthood Predict Better Dietary Behaviors and Intake 10 Years Later: A Longitudinal Study
  6. Fortune, “What Employers Will Worry About in 2017”