PepsiCo is making efforts to ensure no HBCU student goes hungry.
The company recently announced they are giving five $50,000 grants to Morgan State University, Prairie View A&M University, Florida A&M University, Jackson State University, and Bethune-Cookman University to help tackle food insecurity.
“As a longtime supporter of HBCUs, PepsiCo has always aimed to help students thrive, both on campus and beyond,” said Kent Montgomery, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations and Multicultural Development, PepsiCo. “This year, our HBCU Tour continues to celebrate each universities’ rich culture and recognize the wealth of talent on campus, while also addressing the barriers students can face in completing their education,” “Our donation to tackle food insecurity is another example of our commitment to empower students and ensure their success in every aspect of their educational journey.”
Nearly 40% of HBCU students report being food insecure according to data released by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice..
“These numbers speak to something far greater than an HBCU problem or an African-American problem,” Michael J. Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College in Texas, said in the report. “These numbers speak to an American problem. One, which if allowed to go unchecked, will compromise the future of too many talented citizens … What are we as a society doing so wrong that our student class is struggling on such a basic needs level?”
According to a news release, the money will be to allocated to purchasing campus food pantry supplies and groceries, meal plans for houseless students, workshops for cooking and meal prep, stipends for student staff within the pantries. PepsiCo will also provide free meals for around 2,000 students during finals weeks in December.
“The universities selected each take different approaches to remove the burden of where students’ next meal is coming from and return the focus to their education.”