PepsiCo, Inc. and its philanthropic arm PepsiCo Foundation announced in May a $7 million initiative that will provide immediate economic and medical aid to communities of color that have been disproportionality affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pepsi will provide $1 million each to the National Urban League and UnidosUS to help feed families and seniors, increase medical care and testing, expand access to government support and provide technology for remote education and work, with a portion of the funds focused on post-recovery relief. “COVID-19 has once again put a spotlight on the deep-rooted health and economic disparities that have long faced communities of color,” says Steven Williams, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Foods North America.
“In response to this, we’re helping to provide immediate relief and support long-term recovery for Black and Latino communities. But just as these inequities existed well before coronavirus, we will continue to do our part and be a partner to these communities in the months and years ahead,” Williams says.
For this initiative, PepsiCo is also working with Urban League Detroit and the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan due to their strong ties with the local Black and Latino Community. A portion of the funds will provide $700,000 for testing, contact tracing, mental health services, and food for seniors and preschoolers, along with other resources. This work builds on other previous Detroit-based efforts by the brand, like:
- Supporting Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and Team Rubicon to help provide meals to students and families in need
- Providing $5,000 to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation
- Supporting Children’s Health Fund and local community and health partners to expand local screening and education services, and coordinate pop-up clinics to serve homeless adults
- Supporting GENYOUth, which is providing funding to five schools across Wayne County
- Supporting out-of-work restaurant workers through a partnership with National Restaurant Association Educational Fund
Pepsi’s $7 million initiative will be directly disbursed to 15 of the nation’s hardest hit metropolises where many of Pepsi’s employees live and serve including Baltimore, the Bay Area, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York City and Washington D.C.
“We are deeply grateful for the generous and timely support of our COVID-19 response from PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation,” says Janet Murguía, president and CEO of UnidosUS. “At a time when Latinos and other communities of color are being so hard hit, we need immediate action for emergency resources from all sectors. We commend PepsiCo for serving as an example of how the business sector can play an important role in addressing the health and economic impacts of this crisis and in the long-term recovery.”
Kirk Tanner, PepsiCo Beverages North America chief executive officer, says, “Across the nation, the burden of COVID-19 is being disproportionately shouldered by Black and Latino communities that are facing higher rates of hospitalization, death and economic hardships. That’s why PepsiCo, our brands and our people have mobilized to offer our support. And we know a crisis of this scale requires a collective effort. We’re calling on our partners and network to support the communities of color that we are proud to serve and where our teams live and work.”