Since 2009, PepsiCo has worked to make healthy food more physically and financially accessible for low-income families. Unlike most meal programs, Food for Good’s daily operations benefit from the scale, logistical expertise, and technological know-how of a Fortune 50 food and beverage company. As owners of the country’s largest “food-moving fleet,” we are able to use PepsiCo’s passionate staff, nutritious products and expertise in logistics and distribution to combat child hunger. Our approach has proven successful, not only in meals served but also through innovation of affordable nutrition products, such as Tropicana 4.3oz juice and a new Quaker Chewy Bar, and business-changing technologies, such as the innovative cold-box technology that keeps items at the appropriate temperature throughout the day. Through the unique model of a purpose-driven business initiative, Food for Good has grown from delivering 51,000 healthy meals in 2009 to over 5.8 million in 2017 (17 million cumulative meals since 2009).
The meals provided by Food for Good are paid for through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program. Our kid-friendly meals are well-balanced and meet the USDA’s nutrition standards. An example of some of our favorite meals are cheese pizza on whole grain crust with sliced carrots, green beans , and 1% milk and grilled chicken sandwich on whole grain bread, broccoli florets, dried cranberries, and 1% milk.
The funding covers basic operating expenses, including food, trucks, and delivery drivers. Any additional revenues generated are invested back into furthering the Food for Good mission. As a breakeven initiative, Food for Good generates no profit for PepsiCo. In fact, PepsiCo invests in the research and development and on-going support of the program and any proceeds are invested back into the initiative. “Food for Good is the ultimate expression of Performance with Purpose – a purpose-driven business initiative that tackles child hunger by making healthy food physically and financially accessible for low-income families while at the same time serving as an innovation incubator,” said Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo’s Chief Scientific Officer.
We are proud of the impact Food for Good has had on communities to date.
Meals: In 2017, Food for Good delivered over 5.8 million meals – approximately a 40 percent increase from the 4.2 million meals delivered in 2016. Together with local nonprofit organizations, such as Gleaners Community Food Bank, Be a Champion, and Operation Food Search, Food for Good has delivered over 17 million healthy meals to children in underserved communities since 2009.
Servings: The over 17 million meals FFG has delivered represents more than 75 million healthy servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, and dairy. Just what our children need to learn, play and grow. Food for Good is well on our way to exceeding our original goals for 2020: 20 million servings per year (30+ million in 2017) across 21 cities in the United States. Now, by 2025 as part of PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose commitments, Food for Good will deliver 50 million servings per year to at least 25 cities in the United States and internationally.
Weekend “backpack” bundles: In 2015, FFG started packaging and delivering bundles of nutritious meals at schools for students to take home over the weekend. This pilot began in Austin and has now expanded to Fort Worth and Little Rock. Since 2015, over 1.7 million backpack bundles were delivered.
We provide meals to those affected by natural disasters.
As of 2017, Food for Good, with the support and financial-backing of the PepsiCo Foundation, served over 1 million meals (5 million servings) to those affected by hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
Food for Good worked with the Salvation Army, Red Cross, and Feeding America to deliver meals directly to those affected by natural disasters in two states and Puerto Rico, as well as provided meals to schools that were directly hit by Hurricane Harvey.
We support job creation and employment opportunities in the communities we serve.
We aim to hire from the same communities we serve. As of 2017, Food for Good has created more than 150 jobs managing warehouses and delivering food.
Each summer, our local nonprofit partners create another 100 summer jobs in order to provide the children we serve with physical activity and nutrition education.
We work closely with other PepsiCo field operations to give Food for Good staff the opportunity to be promoted into warehouse and sales positions throughout the company, with some FFG alumni now working full-time at PepsiCo.
We provide safe, supervised physical activity and health education for thousands of children.
In addition to providing children with healthy meals, we partner with local agencies to provide safe, supervised physical activities and games at our summer meal sites so that children can continue to learn, play, and grow when school is not in session.
Through grants from the PepsiCo Foundation to local nonprofit organizations and additional support from Food for Good, more than 30,000 children participate in physical activities through nonprofit programs each summer.
Food for Good’s impact is seen not only in the communities it serves, but has contributed greatly to PepsiCo’s corporate accomplishments and Performance with Purpose vision.
From an employee standpoint, Food for Good is used in campus recruiting to attract talent as well as engages employee volunteers who report higher job satisfaction due to their time and commitment with the program. To illustrate this point, Patrick McLaughlin, Frito-Lay Chief Human Resources Officer, said “Food for Good is exactly the kind of corporate social responsibility program that resonates with today’s graduating students. They are explicitly looking for ties between their personal values and that of the company they will choose to work for and we stand out because of Food for Good.”
Food for Good creates jobs to hire from the communities in which we serve and provides great talent to our Frito-Lay and Pepsi business units.
The work that Food for Good does in the communities across the Unites States is often included and featured in corporate PR/communications such as PepsiCo’s Annual Report, Sustainability Report, and Access to Nutrition Index. As noted by Paul Boykas, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at PepsiCo, “Food for Good has been a very important program for PepsiCo. We’ve leveraged it critical indices – like Access to Nutrition and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – to demonstrate PepsiCo’s commitment on nutrition and innovation in feeding underserved populations.”
Food for Good has enabled PepsiCo to build strong relationships with national, state, and local partners and government entities. In 2017, Food for Good demonstrated this by providing testimony to the United Nations about public-private partnerships.
PepsiCo Food for Good’s mission is to make healthy food more accessible to underserved children. This is achieved through building relationships with over 40 non-profit partners across the United States and leveraging PepsiCo’s expertise and support.
The program continues to grow through innovation of products within PepsiCo’s everyday nutrition portfolio, technology advancements and creation, and continued support by our partners and PepsiCo.
Research and development initiated by Food for Good helps to drive the creation of new products and technologies with wider applicability across PepsiCo’s business.
Research and development for Food for Good provides an opportunity for PepsiCo to explore and create new products that meet the dietary requirements of federal nutrition programs and expand PepsiCo’s Everyday Nutrition product portfolio. Food for Good prompted the creation of the new Maple Brown Sugar Quaker Chewy Bar, which meets USDA school breakfast requirements, unlike Quaker Bars produced before it. A Life Cereal “Bowl Pack” (single serve package) was also developed through Food for Good together with Quaker. And in 2017, Food for Good helped to launch a new Tropicana juice box in three flavors that will help serve more kids in schools, summer, and after school.
Ensuring that fresh food remains at food-safe temperatures in extreme heat is always a challenge. Leveraging the expertise from PepsiCo’s scientists, we addressed this by developing a transportable cold box. This innovation features Phase Change Material, highly effective insulation and durable, stackable boxes to facilitate simple and safe warehouse and delivery processes.
Cold boxes enable Food for Good to control costs while ensuring safe temperatures for food by replacing costly refrigerated trucks and enabling us to deliver refrigerated and ambient products on the same truck. We can now deliver fresh meals to sites that may not have otherwise received food due to a lack of refrigerated storage.
Cold boxes are now being used by Gatorade to protect millions of dollars in annual sales of protein bars that were previously at risk of melting.
Since 2009, PepsiCo has grown the Food for Good program to reach thousands of kids that need it most. Through serving as an incubator for the development of new products and technologies, Food for Good has inspired and contributed in creating solutions that have a broader application within the business and contributed in reducing operating costs, all while being mission first and serving underserved communities.
Along the way, Food for Good has had many successes, but also learned valuable lessons. The most important lesson is that it’s okay to not be an expert at everything. In all aspects of business, it’s important to rely on partners that have key relationships and expertise to help drive vision and growth. This results in quicker scale and more meaningful and effective impact.
Through PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose agenda, the company has done a terrific job in using its skills and expertise to help those in their communities and around the country. From creating sustainable business models, design-led thinking, leveraging a company’s unique skill set, strong partnerships, and large infrastructure to create a platform or positively impact a community is an authentic and dynamic way to give back and make a difference to those in need. Food for Good has been a great example of how embracing employee passions and expertise has led to a sustainable business solution that was built from corporate expertise and community-led initiatives.