NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Debra and Leon Black Family and Aramark (NYSE: ARMK), the world’s largest U.S.-based provider of food, facilities and uniforms, today announced “NYC Healthcare Heroes,” a city-wide philanthropic program to support the heroic efforts of the more than 100,000 New York City healthcare professionals on the front lines combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. The program – launched in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty fighting organization, and the American Red Cross – will provide at least 300,000 and up to 500,000 packages of shelf-stable food, household cleaning and personal care products, as well as over-the-counter medicine to staff at hospitals across the five boroughs through June, alleviating the burden of having to shop for themselves and their families.
To launch this program, the Black Family has committed $20 million, including an initial $10 million donation and plans to match any additional donations up to $10 million, bringing the total possible raise to at least $30 million. The initial donation will be made to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, and Robin Hood will manage receipt of matching 501(c)(3) donations. Apollo Global Management and its senior partners, as well as Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, have already pledged significant donations to the matching program. Donations of all sizes are encouraged – with the Black Family’s matching commitment, a $30 donation will provide a package to a valued healthcare professional. To learn more or to donate, visit bit.ly/NYCHealthcareHeroes.
Aramark is donating labor to provide procurement, assembly and delivery services. The products to be distributed were selected based on the research and expertise of Aramark, which serves thousands of healthcare facilities across the globe. Red Cross volunteers will coordinate with Aramark to distribute the packages to hospital staff. With Robin Hood’s participation, hospital sites will be prioritized based on greatest need in coordination with the New York City Emergency Management Department (OEM) and the Greater New York Hospital Association.
Debra and Leon Black said, “The selfless medical professionals and hospital staff combatting this public health crisis, especially those working tirelessly at the epicenter of the outbreak in New York City, need our support now more than ever. As lifelong and proud New Yorkers, we are honored to do our part to recognize, help and thank our healthcare heroes and their loved ones.”
John Zillmer, Chief Executive Officer of Aramark, said, “We are pleased to join the Black Family, Robin Hood, the City and the Red Cross in supporting the healthcare heroes of NYC during this critical time.” Zillmer added, “One of Aramark’s core values is a selfless passion for serving others. Throughout our 84-year history, we have worked to build stronger communities, especially during times of crisis and natural disaster, when there are urgent needs. We are proud to help lead this effort, which would not be possible without the tremendous effort of our dedicated Aramark team.”
“This virus is pushing the limits of our hospital system, but it is also showing the extraordinary kindness and resilience of the brave healthcare workers who make it run,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We will never be able to repay our debt of gratitude to them, but on behalf of 8.6 million New Yorkers, I thank the Black Family and Aramark for joining together with Robin Hood and the American Red Cross to support our heroic hospital staff and healthcare professionals.”
“Robin Hood is honored to be part of this NYC Healthcare Heroes initiative, supporting the essential healthcare workers making great sacrifices on behalf of themselves and their families as they serve New Yorkers in the midst of this crisis,” said Wes Moore, Chief Executive Officer of Robin Hood. “We will continue to do all that we can to support vulnerable New Yorkers who have been hit especially hard by this crisis, including through this innovative partnership combining the Black Family’s generous philanthropy, Aramark’s on the ground efforts, and working with the Mayor’s Fund to meet this critical need.”
“The American Red Cross is pleased to be working closely with the Black Family and Aramark to administer this valuable food program to the more than 100,000 New York City healthcare professionals,” said Gail McGovern, president and chief executive officer, American Red Cross. “This is a time where our nation needs to come together in support of our healthcare heroes, and providing food and supplies for them and their families is one of the many ways we can thank them for their critical service.”
"Our brave and dedicated healthcare workers are in the fight of their lives right now, and having the food and supplies to sustain them for the work ahead is critical," said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. "We are deeply grateful to the Black Family and to our partners at Aramark, Robin Hood, and the American Red Cross for this vital program."
The packages will be provided to the more than 100,000 New York City healthcare professionals and volunteers heading home to their families at the end of their shifts, with deliveries staggered to accommodate all staffing schedules. Select items in the first bag include shelf-stable milk, energy drinks, pasta, tuna fish, peanut butter, ramen noodles, soups, macaroni and cheese, nutrition bars, disinfectant, hand lotion, toilet paper, toothpaste, sanitizers, vitamins and Tylenol. The program is adaptable and will include a mechanism to gather feedback, ensuring it meets the needs of hospital staff on an ongoing basis. The distribution is being planned in accordance with PPE and social distancing standards.
About Debra and Leon Black
Debra and Leon Black support numerous medical and other institutions in New York City and throughout the United States. Debra sits on the Board of Overseers at Weill Cornell Medicine, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Rockefeller University, and she has spearheaded gifts for Melanoma and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (“OCD”) research. Leon is Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apollo Global Management. He also is the chairman of the Museum of Modern Art (“MoMA”) and serves as a trustee of Mount Sinai Hospital, where his family launched The Black Family Stem Cell Institute in 2005.
In 2007, the Blacks co-founded the Melanoma Research Alliance (“MRA”), a nonprofit foundation that has become the largest private funder of Melanoma research worldwide, having committed over $150 million in funding to advance understanding of the disease. MRA has helped fund 12 drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration (“FDA”) since its founding, which have been instrumental in launching the immunotherapy revolution, now helping to combat thirty different cancers.
In 2020, the Blacks co-founded The Foundation for OCD Research (FfOR) to fund research into and treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
The Blacks are also deeply committed to supporting veterans. In 2014, Leon launched the Apollo Veterans Initiative, where companies commit to hiring and retaining veterans, national guard, reserves, and military spouses and partners. The Debra and Leon Black family also funds a graduate student fellowship program for U.S. veterans and active duty military members, which covers the cost of attendance and supports comprehensive leadership development annually at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Law School.
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. Our 280,000 team members deliver innovative experiences and services in food, facilities management and uniforms to millions of people every day. We strive to create a better world by making a positive impact on people and the planet, including commitments to engage our employees; empower healthy consumers; build local communities; source ethically, inclusively and responsibly; operate efficiently and reduce waste. Aramark is recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ+), Diversity Inc., Black Enterprise and the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which supports public programs in areas including youth development, financial empowerment, health, environment, and the arts. The Mayor’s Fund invests private donations in innovation and emerging needs, while evaluating the effectiveness of the programs and feasibility of future funding. Working closely with the Center for Economic Opportunity, the Mayor’s Fund has supported CEO pilots including Opportunity NYC and the Financial Empowerment Center initiative.
About Robin Hood
Founded in 1988, Robin Hood finds, fuels, and creates the most impactful and scalable solutions lifting families out of poverty in New York City, with models that can work across the country. Robin Hood invests nearly $120 million annually to provide legal services, housing, meals, workforce development training, education programs, and more to families in poverty in New York City. Robin Hood tracks every program with rigorous metrics, and since Robin Hood’s Board of Directors covers all overhead, 100 percent of every donation goes directly to the poverty fight. Learn more at www.robinhood.org; and follow Robin Hood on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.