DETROIT, Oct. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Two new food delivery programs developed by PepsiCo employees and Metro Detroit's two largest nonprofit food providers, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and Forgotten Harvest, will help get more fresh, healthy food to Detroit-area residents in need.
In the first program, Southwest Detroiters who feed their families using the federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) can soon buy healthy food for less money through a traveling food pantry that Gleaners will launch before the end of the year. The second program involves an innovative logistics plan that will help Forgotten Harvest source more food and distribute that food more efficiently and less expensively to underserved areas of Metro Detroit.
The PepsiCo employees are members of PepsiCorps, a skills-based volunteer program in which select PepsiCo associates from around the world are deployed to a community to leverage their business skills and expertise to address societal challenges. This spring, eight PepsiCorps volunteer professionals – working in two teams of four – helped Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest develop separate projects designed to affordably and efficiently distribute food to those in need. Today, the teams reunited in Detroit to turn their plans into action.
To help make the PepsiCorps recommendations a reality, the PepsiCo Foundation donated a 53 foot semi-tractor trailer to Forgotten Harvest and a 24 foot mobile food pantry to Gleaners.
"As the world watches the rebirth of Detroit, we deployed PepsiCorps to the Motor City to play a critical role in helping build a stronger city by providing residents with more reliable and efficient ways to obtain healthy and nutritious food," said Tony West, executive vice president, general counsel of PepsiCo and president of the PepsiCo Foundation. "We work every day to improve the lives of people in the communities where we work, live and serve. We are honored to be working with Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest to make a positive impact on society, and as we watch the renaissance of this great city continue, we will do it knowing that we played a very small, but important role."
A PepsiCorps team worked together with Gleaners to develop "My Neighborhood Mobile Grocery," a traveling pantry that will enable SNAP clients in southwest Detroit to maximize their purchasing power and select nutritious items based on dietary needs and food preferences.
About a third of Southwest Detroit residents receive SNAP benefits, also known as the Bridge Card or EBT. About 45 percent of SNAP recipients are under 17. Each month a typical SNAP client receives $130 in food benefits, and the majority of clients exhaust their benefits halfway through the month.
My Neighborhood Mobile Grocery customers will be able to purchase nutritious food at subsidized prices from a list of about 50 staples, such as milk, potatoes and cooking oil. The goal is that each family using SNAP would stretch its monthly budget by receiving $70 worth of food for every $50 spent.
"The PepsiCorps volunteers brought the full power of their global expertise to help us with a strategy to deliver fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains to SNAP clients, many of whom are families with young children," said Gleaners President Gerry Brisson.
Hub & Spoke: Rescuing more healthy food, less expensively, in less time
A second PepsiCorps team and Forgotten Harvest, one of America's largest food rescue operations, looked at a new model to further improve logistical efficiencies, such as fleet routing and warehouse management. Using a hub and spoke model, Forgotten Harvest will be utilizing a more decentralized supply chain model that should ensure the availability of a higher volume of fresh, healthy food, delivered less expensively to critical areas of need in Metro Detroit. The plan should enable Forgotten Harvest to save money and time by coordinating logistics and food collection, and food delivery pick-ups and drop-offs.
"Our job is to bring the right food to the right people in the right amount of time," said Kirk Mayes CEO of Forgotten Harvest. "The PepsiCorps team brought its global logistics expertise to this project, and together we developed a streamlined distribution plan that saves money and time by coordinating logistics and food collection, and food delivery pick-ups and drop-offs."
Forgotten Harvest, which has been recognized for its cost efficiencies by Charity Navigator, America's foremost independent rating agencies for non-profit organizations, will pilot the hub and spoke logistics plan in Macomb County. At the end of 2015, the pilot will be evaluated in terms of cost efficiencies and quality service levels. The hub and spoke model could result in the distribution of 25% more food at similar cost to that of the current model utilized by Forgotten Harvest. The goal is to implement the model in underserved areas in Oakland and Wayne counties during 2016.
About the PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, the PepsiCo Foundation is the philanthropic anchor of PepsiCo, collaborating with non-profit organizations to develop innovative solutions to challenges facing underserved communities around the world. In support of PepsiCo's commitment to Performance with Purpose, the PepsiCo Foundation provides grants to eligible non-profit organizations to advance progress in the fields of Human, Environmental, and Talent Sustainability. For more information, visit: http://www.pepsico.com/Purpose/Global-Citizenship.
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 $66 billion in net revenue in 2014, 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 Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan
For over 38 years, Gleaners Community Food Bank has been "feeding hungry people and nourishing our communities." Gleaners helps alleviate hunger by providing the equivalent of nearly 77,000 meals per day to people who otherwise cannot afford the food they need. Headquartered in Detroit, Gleaners operates a total of five distribution centers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties, which provide food to 510 partner soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other agencies throughout southeastern Michigan. Of every dollar donated, Gleaners uses 94 cents for food and food programs. One dollar provides three meals. Learn more at www.gcfb.org.
About Forgotten Harvest
Oak Park, Michigan-based Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to fight two problems: hunger and waste. Forgotten Harvest "rescued" over 41 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from over 800 locations, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors and other Health Department-approved sources. This donated food, which would otherwise go to waste, is delivered free-of-charge to over 280 emergency food providers in the metro Detroit area. Forgotten Harvest has been ranked as a four-star charity by Charity Navigator for eight consecutive years. Learn more about Forgotten Harvest and how to help drive hunger from our community at www.forgottenharvest.org.