PURCHASE, N.Y., March 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of National School Breakfast Week, PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) and The PepsiCo Foundation announced today that more than 25,000 PepsiCo employees worldwide took 8 billion steps as part of a company-wide challenge to raise funds to address childhood hunger. In the U.S., The PepsiCo Foundation is funding "grab-n-go" breakfast carts with the youth wellness nonprofit GENYOUth that will serve 4.5 million breakfasts to nearly 25,000 students across the nation over the course of a year. Additionally, through a longstanding partnership with the World Food Programme, 1.6 million meals will be provided to children in Sudan, Ethiopia, Honduras, Colombia and Canada.
Approximately 815 million people suffer from hunger globally, and in the U.S., more than 11 million children live in food-insecure households. Around 30 million students in the U.S. qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches, and for many students, school is often the only place where they can depend on receiving a nutritious meal. However, rushed morning schedules, late bus arrivals, and the social stigma of picking up a school breakfast in the cafeteria often prevent students from taking advantage of these meals.
In the U.S., The PepsiCo Foundation is partnering with GENYOUth to address these barriers by providing grants that will enable 45 schools to place mobile "grab-n-go" breakfast carts to help schools deliver a breakfast that meets USDA nutrition standards and provide students with a variety of fresh fruit, whole grains, including cereal, muffins, bagels, as well as dairy foods, including milk, yogurt and cheese sticks. Carts will be distributed at schools in eight states, including New York, California, and Georgia, which have some of the highest numbers of students living below the poverty line and eligible for school meals. Since 2017, The PepsiCo Foundation and GENYOUth have funded 112 "grab-n-go" breakfast carts at schools across in the U.S., providing 11 million meals and reaching more than 60,000 students.
Funding for the carts and meals was driven as a result of employee steps through a PepsiCo employee challenge called Ready, Step, Move…Give! Organized by PepsiCo's wellbeing program, Healthy Living, PepsiCo employees took more than 8 billion steps in 2019, far exceeding a company goal of 7.5 billion. Since 2017, Ready, Step, Move…Give! has raised funds for more than 15 million meals for students around the globe.
"PepsiCo and our employees are committed to addressing food insecurity on a global scale—a pressing issue that directly impacts communities in every corner of the world," said Ronald Schellekens, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, PepsiCo. "Expanding access to nutritious food is a critical part of our fight against hunger, and I'm proud that our employees' hard work and volunteerism delivered millions of meals and essential nutrition this year, enabling students, families and communities to thrive."
"School breakfast is a lifeline for millions of students, and as an important part of their day as history, math or science," said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth. "We are grateful for the long-standing support and volunteerism of PepsiCo employees in taking strides, for many years, with GENYOUth to create healthier school communities, especially where their own employees work and live."
The employee step challenge is part of a year-round effort by PepsiCo and its employees to help tackle hunger. In late 2019, 3,000 PepsiCo employees in New York, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Washington D.C, Ohio, Spain, India and South Africa, helped package and distribute 1.1 million meals as part of PepsiCo Gives Back, the company's month-long global volunteering event, which unites employees in volunteer service and community support. The packaged meals, distributed by Rise Against Hunger, went to schools, hospitals and local clinics in the Dominican Republic and communities in India and Africa. The meals included enriched rice, soy protein, dried vegetables, and 23 essential vitamins and nutrients to provide a comprehensive array of micronutrients.
"Rise Against Hunger is very grateful for strategic partners like PepsiCo and its employees, who are passionate about addressing food insecurity issues and packaged millions of meals that were distributed to schools and vulnerable communities," said Edna Ogwangi, Chief Impact Officer, Rise Against Hunger. "Our school feeding programs help get children into school and keep them there by enhancing enrollment and reducing absenteeism; and once the children are in school, the programs can contribute to their learning through avoiding hunger and enhancing cognitive abilities. We are not only providing a meal, but hope and opportunity to the children and communities we serve."
Together with partners, The PepsiCo Foundation is focused on alleviating hunger around the world by supporting food banks and distributing nutritious meals to families in need. Since 2009, Food for Good, The PepsiCo Foundation's signature nutrition operation, has delivered over 30 million nutritious meals to children at risk of hunger; and by 2025, Food for Good is aiming to deliver 50 million nutritious servings per year across 25 cities in the U.S. The PepsiCo Foundation also has community partnerships with the World Food Programme and The Global FoodBanking Network to fight hunger around the world. In 2018, The PepsiCo Foundation and The Global FoodBanking Network helped deliver more than 85 million servings of fresh food, reaching nearly 175,000 people in communities in need.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $67 billion in net revenue in 2019, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. "Winning with Purpose" reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
About The PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, invests in the essential elements of a sustainable food system with a mission to support thriving communities. Working with non-profits and experts around the globe, we're focused on helping alleviate hunger, managing water and waste responsibly and supporting women as champions of nutrition from farm to family. We strive for tangible impact in the places where we live and work—collaborating with industry peers, local and international organizations, and our employees to affect large-scale change on the issues that matter to us and are of global importance. Learn more at www.pepsico.com/sustainability/philanthropy.
GENYOUth empowers students to create a healthier future for themselves and their peers by convening a network of private and public partners to raise funds for youth wellness initiatives that bolster healthy, high-achieving students, schools and communities nationwide. We believe that all students are change-agents, who deserve the opportunity to identify and lead innovative solutions that positively impact nutrition, physical activity, and student success. For more information about GENYOUth, visit: www.genyouthnow.org.
ABOUT RISE AGAINST HUNGER
Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization, aims to show the world that it is, in fact, possible to end hunger by the year 2030. With 28 U.S. locations and five international offices, the organization is committed to nourishing lives, providing emergency aid, empowering communities and growing the hunger movement. Rise Against Hunger has facilitated volunteer meal packaging of more than 534 million meals for distribution in countries around the world.
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SOURCE PepsiCo, Inc.