FLINT, Mich., Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The PepsiCo Foundation, along with community organizations and leaders, today opened two community Help Centers to provide resources to Flint residents recovering from the city's drinking water crisis.
Located at Bethel United Methodist Church and Greater Holy Temple COGIC, the Help Centers will promote healthy physical and mental development and protect and improve the quality of life for individuals and families. "One-stop" resources and services include bottled water, food and fresh produce, personal care items, nutritional services, physical health services and mental health services. They are open four days a week and serve residents from two semi-trailers staged in the churches' parking lots.
"We are very excited about the opening of these new Help Centers and the much-needed supplies and resources they will offer to Flint residents," said Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. "The water in Flint still isn't safe to drink without a filter. This water crisis is much bigger than Flint can handle alone, but with help from our government and community organizations, we will emerge from this stronger and better than before. Thank you, PepsiCorps and Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, for joining forces to make this happen."
The Help Centers are funded in part by a $570,000 grant from the PepsiCo Foundation. In addition, the company provided the network of Flint non-profit organizations with pro-bono, skills-based consulting, through its PepsiCorps program. This long standing PepsiCo program leverages PepsiCo employees' expertise to address societal needs or challenges, and enables the exchange of private sector knowledge to nonprofits to help them operate more effectively. For Flint, PepsiCo experts utilized their knowledge of logistics and warehousing to help assess residents' needs and efficient ways to store and deliver goods and services.
"We are an active member and supporter of the communities where we live and work. Many of our employees are Flint residents," said Tony West, PepsiCo's general counsel and president of the PepsiCo Foundation. "To help combat this water crisis, we sat down with local officials and community leaders and listened to what they thought was most needed. And together, we were able to devise solutions that best meet the needs of the Flint community."
The Help Centers are managed by the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. Other partners are the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the United Way of Genesee County. Genesee Health Systems, the Genesee Community Health Center and GST Michigan Works also provide Help Center services.
In addition to the Help Center grant, the PepsiCo Foundation this year has provided $225,000 to provide nutritious meals for Flint school children and $50,000 to fund recycling education and support within Flint schools.
The Help Centers are staffed in cooperation with GST Michigan Works. They are located at Bethel United Methodist Church, 1309 N. Ballenger Hwy.; and Greater Holy Temple COGIC, 6702 N. Dort Hwy. Hours are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
"A key piece of the Food Bank's mission is to build a community solution to a community problem. While this usually refers to the fight against hunger, it certainly applies to the collaborative efforts in response to the Flint water crisis," said Food Bank President William E. Kerr. "The Help Centers are a testament to the resilient strength of Flint. The past year has been extremely difficult, yet community leaders and residents continue to work together to move forward and recover."
Since the beginning of the Flint water crisis, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan has been uniquely positioned to respond quickly and efficiently to residents' needs. Working with partner agencies, it has distributed more than 26 million bottles of water and more than 2.4 million pounds of lead-mitigating foods. The Food Bank also has provided 464,104 meals rich in lead-mitigating nutrients to the Genesee Intermediate School District's Head Start program.
About the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan
Serving families in need since 1981, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan has grown to provide over 25 million pounds of food each year through a network of more than 415 partner agencies in 22 counties. Partner agencies consist of local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food pantries that strive to feed more than 330,000 people who struggle with hunger throughout eastern Michigan. In 2016, during the Flint Water Crisis, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan distributed over 26 million bottles of water and more than 120 truckloads of lead-mitigating foods to residents of the City of Flint.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2015, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth and shareholder value. In practice, Performance with Purpose means providing a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; finding innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce our operating costs; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for our employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we operate. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
About the PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, the PepsiCo Foundation and its non-profit partners works to develop innovative, sustainable solutions that address challenges in underserved communities around the world. The Foundation, along with PepsiCo and its employees, seeks to catalyze efforts that advance our Performance with Purpose 2025 goals related to increasing access to positive nutrition, enabling access to safe water and supporting the workforce readiness of women and girls. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com/Purpose/Global-Citizenship.