PepsiCo to Support Food Insecure U.S. Kids

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – One of the popular misconceptions around the world is that hunger is a problem confined only to the developing countries. However, the facts and figures on global food insecurity reveal a slightly different picture. According to the most recent statistics released by the U.S. government in September 2013 (Coleman-Jensen 2013), 17.6 million U.S. households, or about 14.5 percent families, were food insecure in 2012. This percentage remains the same as 2008, when the financial crisis had peaked.

In 2012, 3.9 million American households at times failed to provide sufficient, nutritious food for their children. This happened even when children are typically protected by the patents, who stay hungry themselves to provide food to the children. Figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveal that as many as 23 million Americans live in “food deserts” – a term used to describe areas with poor accessibility to nutritious, affordable food.

PepsiCo has set out to address the challenges of food insecurity in the U.S. through its innovative “Food for Good” program. The larger goal is to develop scalable solutions to tackle nutrition and poverty issues in inner-city communities. The company will deliver an estimated five million healthy servings to low-income children across the U.S. this year. The program was launched this year on June 9, and managed to deliver more than 25,000 meals on the very first day.

The present Food for Good model includes summer and afterschool meal programs, community managed farm stands, and other pilot programs. The need for making healthy food accessible to low-income families is urgent, and growing. The program aims to alleviate this situation through all-year-round food distribution.

Each year, as the school session comes to an end, most of the school cafeterias shut down for the summer. However, underserved kids still need a nutritious meal, and this is where Food for Good makes a crucial intervention in each of its targeted communities. PepsiCo is putting its professional capabilities from food distribution expertise to innovations in food preservation and storage to good use in this program. The meals under Food for Good program meet USDA standards, and the program has now expanded to eight cities across the country.

Source: 3BL Media

Image Credit: Flickr via USDAgov