Kool Kitchens’ program goal is to increase student meal participation by 15% and help serve over 1.2 million meals per year to students in five Los Angeles high schools
LOS ANGELES (February 7, 2022) – GENYOUth and Frito-Lay today announced the awarding of a $250,000 grant from GENYOUth’s End Student Hunger Fund to five high schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The grants, which are being disbursed as part of Taste of the NFL, a Super Bowl weekend philanthropic, purpose-driven culinary event, are being allocated to benefit LAUSD’s school cafeteria transformation initiative tackling food insecurity within the district. The first of these transformations will be unveiled at a special celebration at South Gate High School (3351 Firestone Boulevard, South Gate, CA) on Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 10:45 a.m. PST.
The Kool Kitchens initiative aims to combat food insecurity within schools by enabling students to have access to nutritious school meals. Enhancements in school nutrition equipment and the creation of an inviting atmosphere have proven to have a significant impact on student meal access, engagement and participation.
The transformations include bright and attractive painting, wall graphics, and the installation of equipment such as smoothie machines, to transform school cafeterias into dynamic environments for thousands of students to gather for their daily meals.
When these improvements are implemented, schools have experienced increases in meal participation of up to 15%. It is projected that the Kool Kitchens program will help participating high schools serve over 1.2 million school meals to students per year. And with one in three Hispanic and Black youth living in food insecurity, compared with one six children overall, it is significant to note that the Kool Kitchens transformations are being implemented in Los Angeles-area schools with majority Hispanic student populations. These include South Gate High School (98% Hispanic), Narbonne High School (65%), Manual Arts High School (83%), Monroe High School (89%) and North Hollywood High School (68%).
Frito-Lay’s Focus on Food Insecurity
Frito-Lay has been active within the nation’s communities for more than 85 years and, as a leading food company, focuses much of its community efforts on the goal of ending food insecurity in the communities where its employees live and work.
“For Frito-Lay, purpose is more than charity. It’s about creating connections to uplift communities and create a better planet. Our support of the LAUSD Kool Kitchens program will build a legacy of positive impact in this community,” said Steven Williams, CEO, PepsiCo Foods North America. “Supporting the Kool Kitchens program allows us to make a positive impact in combatting food insecurity among children as we continue delivering strong commitments to our communities.”
Frito-Lay and The PepsiCo Foundation are providing $1 million in financial support to GENYOUth and Taste of the NFL. These funds will benefit the underwriting of Kool Kitchens, as well as support Para Los Ninos Charter school’s weekend meal backpack programs in partnership with the PepsiCo Foundation’s Food for Good program. Additionally, grants will be funded to high-need schools in NFL club markets across the country through GENYOUth’s End Student Hunger Fund. The collective impact of PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, and the PepsiCo Foundation’s investment, along with that from other Taste of the NFL supporters, will help combat student hunger across the nation.
“As schools remain crucial anchors in ending student hunger, we are grateful for Frito-Lay’s partnership in helping to provide LAUSD students with equitable access to fresh, healthy and tasty school meals in an inviting and welcoming cafeteria environment,” said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth. “By implementing the Kool Kitchens transformation in Los Angeles-area schools with majority Hispanic student populations, we are focusing our efforts where they are most needed and will have the most impact.”
“Our students need and deserve an inviting cafeteria experience to reap the benefits of school meals which include milk, whole grains, fruits/vegetables and lean protein, within a space that creates a sense of belonging,” said Manish Singh, director of Food Services, Los Angeles Unified School District. “The cafeteria renovations we’ve created are dramatic and highlight the importance of the environment and new equipment in increasing student meal participation. We want to thank GENYOUth and Frito-Lay for their investment in our student’s nutritional health and well-being.”
A Legacy of Giving
Frito-Lay and PepsiCo have been critical to helping GENYOUth in its mission to build healthier school communities since 2009, providing more than $5 million in funding to fight child hunger and food insecurity. In 2018, GENYOUth joined Frito-Lay at its Plano, Texas headquarters for Hispanic Heritage Month. The occasion was hosted by PepsiCo’s Adelante employee resource group and reaffirmed a shared commitment to diversity and inclusion within the Hispanic community, while also celebrating the collective mission shared by PepsiCo, Frito-Lay and GENYOUth in advancing the next generation of future Hispanic leaders.
The widespread impact of PepsiCo’s commitment to youth health and wellness spans across a variety of programs. From the Quaker Oats partnership for breakfast-equipment grants to schools, to serving as a founding partner of the Spanish-language version of GENYOUth’s flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60 en Español. The involvement of PepsiCo’s Healthy Living Initiative: “Ready, Step, Move…Give!” aided in the expansion of GENYOUth’s Grab ‘n’ Go school breakfast cart program, which created more than 10 million school breakfast opportunities. With a commitment to realizing zero hunger through its Food For Good Program, PepsiCo plays a critical role in advancing a more equitable domestic and global food system to ensure the communities in which it serves have food security and access to nutritious meals.
Taste of the NFL, which is generating the funding for the Kool Kitchens school cafeteria transformation, will be held February 12, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. PST at the renowned Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The event will feature innovative chefs and committed child hunger advocates Andrew Zimmern, Carla Hall, Tim Love, Mark Bucher, Lasheeda Perry and Ming Tsai, along with other top culinary talent including Deanna Colon, Derrick Fox, and Evan Inada. In addition, local Los Angeles area chefs Tony Jolly, Shana Jenson, Marcus and Nayomie Mendoza, Claire Risoli and Notasha Butler from The PepsiCo Foundation IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator and Black Restaurant Accelerator programs will also be demonstrating their favorite specialties. Taste of the NFL will also include The Equality Lounge® at Taste of the NFL presented by The PepsiCo Foundation, which will bring together thought leaders from the NFL, social justice organizations and the food and beverage industry to represent viewpoints with diversity of thought, perspective, and experience to highlight the importance of equity, inclusion, and fair play from the gridiron to the business next door. For more information and to purchase a ticket, visit TasteoftheNFL.com
GENYOUth’s End Student Hunger Fund is dedicated to providing equipment and resources to help deliver and distribute school meals to the 30 million students nationwide who rely on them for their daily nutrition needs. For more information or to make a donation, visit genyouthnow.org.
GENYOUth is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that creates healthier school communities. We convene a network of private and public partners, including Fortune 100 companies and foundations, to raise funds for youth wellness initiatives that give youth the inspiration, motivation, and programs to be healthy high-achieving students. GENYOUth’s flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60, enrolls over 73,000 U.S. schools, reaching over 38 million students. Our school nutrition grants increase access to healthy school meals among food insecure students. NFL FLAG-In-School is GENYOUth’s fastest growing program with over 25,000+ school communities reaching over 15 million students. AdVenture Capital brings out the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of students with the support of corporate mentors to solve real world problems. And starting in 2021, GENYOUth has been the official charitable partner of Taste of the NFL, a purpose-driven Super Bowl culinary experience which raises awareness and generates funds to fight hunger and food insecurity. For more information on GENYOUth, visit www.genyouthnow.org.
About Frito-Lay North America
Frito-Lay North America is the $18 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, N.Y. Frito-Lay snacks include Lay’s and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos tortilla chips, Cheetos snacks, Tostitos tortilla chips and branded dips, SunChips multigrain snacks and Fritos corn chips. The company operates 30+ manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and Canada, more than 200 distribution centers and services 315,000 retail customers per week through its direct-store-delivery model. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, http:www.fritolay.com/, on Twitter fritolay, on Instagram @fritolay and on Facebook Frito-Lay.
Eric Slutsky, GENYOUth, firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-391-6709
Valeria Rivas, Frito-Lay, email@example.com