April 13, 2020
Philadelphia-based food services, facilities and uniform provider Aramark, a company hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, will shift production at its manufacturing facilities to create personal protective equipment for frontline workers in the United States, the company announced Monday.
With events and venues around the world canceled and shuttered, Aramark has furloughed large parts of its workforce and reduced pay among its executive team.
The company has now decided to produce a range of protective gear from its uniform manufactuing plants in Mexico that will be shipped to U.S. clients in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and other vital industries.
"As the country pulls together to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to be able to assist the brave frontline workers who need it most," Aramark CEO John Zillmer said. "It's this selfless passion for service that defines our company and we are proud to do our part during this extraordinary time."
Aramark revealed plans to begin with the production of lab coats, work shirts, pants, coveralls, scrubs, isolation gowns, and respirator and medical masks.
The first shipment of scrubs and isolation gowns was delivered last week. Production of respirators and medical masks is scheduled to begin by mid-July.
Aramark has provided more than 300,000 packages of shelf-stable food, household cleaning and personal care products and over-the-counter medication to hospital staff in New York City, as well as meals for students in several other cities.
The announcement comes as Philadelphia urges Congress to provide the city with additional resources, including masks and other PPE, to help with its response to the ongoing crisis.