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PepsiCo Foundation, GENYOUth to Conquer Hunger Among Students
USAgNet - 03/13/2018

The PepsiCo Foundation and GENYOUth are increasing access to the national school breakfast program to help conquer hunger in underserved communities. The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the global food and beverage company, will provide "grab-n-go" breakfast carts to be used in 25 schools in 18 states as part of Ready, Step, Move...Give!, an employee step-challenge created in partnership with Healthy Living, PepsiCo's employee well-being program. These carts will provide approximately 2.25 million nutritious school breakfasts to students nationwide over the course of the school year. In support of the program, PepsiCo employees 'got moving' and focused on their well-being, while giving back to help nourish children in need. PepsiCo U.S. employees' 4 billion steps were converted into donations to leading youth wellness non-profit GENYOUth to provide "grab-n-go" breakfast carts to schools, serving an assortment of fresh fruits, yogurt parfaits, muffins, bagels, milk and cheese sticks--meeting the United States Department of Agriculture's nutrition standards for school breakfast.

The carts are an innovative solution funded by the PepsiCo Foundation to tackle hunger by providing more children with access to nutritious foods. Food insecurity and access to nutritious meals are a struggle for many Americans, including 13 million children who live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basisi. Despite the need, there are often hurdles associated with breakfast in school cafeterias, including scheduling and timing issues related to conflicting events and bus schedules, as well as the stigma that may be associated with free or reduced priced school meals. The colorful and well-stocked "grab-n-go" carts allow students have a nutritious and convenient breakfast experience on-the-go, regardless of household income, along with the confidence and nourishment that students need to learn.

"As part of our Performance with Purpose vision, PepsiCo is focused on leaving a positive imprint on society, and there is no better investment in our future than ensuring young people around the world have access to a nutritious breakfast so they can learn and grow," said Jon Banner, president, PepsiCo Foundation and executive vice president, communications. "These breakfast carts give the students a fun, fast and delicious way to start their school day, and we're proud to provide these carts which increase access to nutritious breakfast meals in schools across the country. It's one important way we can help students meet their goals and realize their dreams."

Lack of access to nutritious meals at home directly impacts student performance in the classroom, with three out of four teachers nationally stating that their students regularly arrive to school hungryii. Research shows that implementing alternative options to serve breakfast, such as" grab-n-go" solutions as part of the school day has proven to be a successful strategy for schools to increase breakfast participationiii.

"With the generous support from the PepsiCo Foundation, GENYOUth is able to provide funds and resources that directly and positively impact the wellness environment in schools across the country," said Alexis Glick, CEO, GENYOUth. "These breakfast carts will provide these schools with a sustainable, long-term solution that will nourish students and impact their ability to learn and become healthy, high-achieving leaders."

PepsiCo is committed to addressing student hunger at a global level. Since 2008, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation have provided over $12 million of support to the World Food Programme (WFP) through joint initiatives that align with both PepsiCo's Performance with Purpose 2025 goals and the World Food Programme's Zero Hunger mission. The partnership has focused on improving the availability of affordable nutrition and supporting WFP's disaster relief worldwide. As a result of the Ready, Step, Move... Give! challenge in 2017, PepsiCo employees provided 1.2 million meals for children in Pakistan, Ethiopia and Colombia through WFP, and in 2016, PepsiCo employees' steps helped provide hot and nutritious school meals to nearly 47,000 students in 133 schools in some of the poorest and most food insecure municipalities in Maguindanao, a province in the Philippines. The Ready, Step, Move, Give program is ongoing.

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