Harrington mobilized a specialized team within the legal department that focused, day in and day out, on reviewing every piece of COVID-19–related guidance and reopening orders issued by states and local jurisdictions.
Amid the numerous demands of the pandemic, Harrington led the creation of a federal government affairs group within the legal department. This was an entirely new effort for the company, which previously had pursued lobbying activities only at the state and local levels. The expanded focus on advocacy at the federal level grew out of the company’s desire to advocate for children and families affected by the pandemic. The work of Aramark’s federal government affairs advocacy group was central to the effort to achieve changes that allowed schools greater flexibility to provide free meals to children—ensuring that healthy and regular meals were universally available to students learning remotely throughout the pandemic.