PepsiCo is popping the tab on a new funding program for women-led small businesses.
Through two of its charitable arms, Food for Good and WomanMade, PepsiCo recently announced the launch of its Food for Good Meal Solutions program, which offers women-led small businesses the resources and scaling strategies necessary to fight childhood hunger.
Supporting two of the food and beverage giant’s social campaigns — Food for Good, which combats childhood hunger, and WomanMade, which supports women-led small businesses in the US — this new campaign connects female entrepreneurs with the funding they need to produce reliable, effective products that will help end childhood hunger.
Food for Good Meal Solutions is the latest campaign from PepsiCo’s nutrition and childhood hunger initiative. Founded in 2009, Food for Good leverages “the scale, logistical expertise, and technological know-how of a Fortune 500 company” with the innovative solutions of a community-minded foundation.
The result? A cost-effective, efficient way of reaching children in need. To date, Food for Good has delivered more than 40 million meals to kids and families around the world.
Working in tandem with WomanMade, another of PepsiCo’s initiatives, the new Solutions program offers coveted “registered supplier” spots to women-led small businesses. This new program is inspired in part by PepsiCo’s successful partnership with Michele Liddle, the founder of Perfect Granola, which has been shipped out in Food for Good’s shelf-stable breakfast kits.
Liddle received mentorship from PepsiCo as part of her victory as a finalist in the 2019 Stacy’s Rise project, a grant program designed to elevate female-founded brands.
And as Liddle put it in a February 2020 interview, “We’ve never been about the granola. Yes, we sell granola, but we’re not a granola company. We’re mission-first. The granola was something to sell to fuel my other ideas on how to fix hunger.”
The new PepsiCo initiative captures — and amplifies — this “mission-first” business model, spurred on by the know-how of a Fortune 500 company. Selected businesses will receive product placement in meal packages offered to local partners throughout the country, like food banks, schools, and nonprofits.
In addition to product placement, selected small businesses will also receive resources, support, and mentorship to scale their businesses — and maybe the next Fortune 500 food and beverage company will be led by a graduate of the program!
To be eligible for selection, food and beverage products (and their mother companies) must:
- Meet or exceed the USDA’s nutrition standards for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Meals and Snacks.
- Be sold and have existing distribution in the United States
- Follow PepsiCo’s per-product pricing guidelines
- Be committed to advancing food security in some manner including, but not limited to, nutrition education, minimizing food waste, increasing access to healthy food or other initiatives
To apply for the program, visit PepsiCo’s campaign website at foodforgoodmealsolutions.com.
Even if a product or business is not selected, it’s worth paying close attention to the PepsiCo program WomanMade. Through its platform on Hello Alice, WomanMade offers opportunities for connection, mentorship, and other forms of support for female business owners in the food and beverage world, regardless of their affiliation with PepsiCo.
This exciting new program represents an excellent step forward from one of the world’s largest companies. Food for Good Meal Solutions is a two-tiered approach with wide impacts, helping alleviate some of the disastrous impact of the pandemic while supporting female entrepreneurs and fighting to end childhood hunger.
Nestle, Tyson, and Kraft — we’re all looking at you, next!
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