Frito-Lay and Feed the Children partner to help provide food to thousands of students during COVID-19
Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.
This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.
Each school participating in the inaugural "Building the Future Together" program across Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando and Phoenix will receive donations of approximately 5,000 items per month consisting of food and everyday essentials for the entirety of the school year. Overall, it's estimated students in these markets will engage with the program and receive needed items over 100,000 times throughout the 2020-2021 school year.
"As a food company, we have an opportunity to serve a greater good and work to support children having access to the food and resources they need," said Steven Williams, CEO, PepsiCo Foods North America.
Because programs like "Building the Future Together" can pivot their giving, regardless of whether students are in school or at home learning online, they will still receive the resources they need on a consistent basis.
"With the 'Building the Future Together' program, we've pivoted our longstanding community giving efforts to provide a level of food security for thousands of disadvantaged students," Williams added. "While a lot of uncertainty remains, we will do our part to support students and families in underserved communities no matter how schools operate this year."
Nearly eight in 10 students attending schools participating in the "Building the Future Together" program qualify for free meals, according to Public School Review.
"We believe that no child should go to bed hungry, especially during this unsettling time around COVID-19," said Travis Arnold, president and CEO of Feed the Children. "We understand that many are facing unexpected challenges and we are working diligently with our partners such as Frito-Lay and the 'Building the Future Together' program to ensure that as needs rise, students continue to receive the food and supplies they need."
Since the onset of COVID-19, PepsiCo, including Frito-Lay and other PepsiCo business units, have committed more than $60 million to COVID-19 relief, which has provided 57 million meals to help feed communities in need, medical and economic aid, jobs creation and more. In addition, Frito-Lay has donated more than $16 million in product to more than 90 organizations in nearly 90 cities across the U.S.
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