Opportunity Services Work Team at the U of M Fresh Food Company


AminUofM2 RandyUofM ThomasUofM

An Opportunity Services team from Coon Rapids, Minnesota has been working with Aramark and The Fresh Food Company at the University of Minnesota since Fall 2014. Opportunity Services is a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities find meaningful employment in the community. This innovative restaurant, managed by Aramark, is modeled after a European marketplace and opened in August 2014. The 5-person work team enjoys being on the college campus during the school year! They are on-site Monday through Friday for 3 hours a day. During their shift they wipe down the tables, manage the dish room, assist with stocking food and dishes in addition to cleaning various serving areas. The work team is supervised by Melissa Hodge, Opportunity Services Job Coach who said “we all love working at The Fresh Food Company. The staff is extremely welcoming to the work team and in return the clients pour their hearts into the work.”

Thomas, an Opportunity Services client pictured above right, echoes Melissa’s statement. “Working here is my dream job. I love being busy and getting to know my co-workers. Everyone is nice and the work is fun!” The Opportunity Services work team is very active on-the-job, as this dining facility is busy during the school year. It’s possible for over 1,000 students to be served during lunch. That’s what makes this job exciting for our clients- they enjoy being a part of a busy and essential team on a college campus. Lisa Brazman, Manager of The Fresh Food Company states: “I love that I get to be a part of the growth of this Opportunity Services team. They are wonderful people who have such talent to contribute to the success of Aramark and Fresh Foods. 
This gives my team an opportunity as well to be a part of such an extraordinary program and also teach the job they love.” The partnership between Aramark/The Fresh Food Company and Opportunity Services not only provides adults with disabilities with a fun and engaging job, but it also fulfills a true business need. Keep your eyes peeled for our clients working at the University of Minnesota campus all school year long!