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PRNewswire/ -- At the height of the pandemic, one in four children were food insecure. Although this number is improving, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect children across the U.S. 1 To support students in underserved communities, Frito-Lay and Feed the Children are kicking off the second year of the "Building the Future Together" initiative in eight cities, reaching nearly 1,200 schools with food and essential items.
"Building the Future Together" is a continuation of the more than 10-year partnership between Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, and Frito-Lay. It is estimated students who engage with the program will receive necessary items – food, supplies and personal care items - over 100,000 times throughout this school year.
The program supplements school meals with shelf-stable food items while also providing educational supplies, personal care products and books. Underserved school districts across Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando and Phoenix will benefit from the initiative again this year.
"Many people most impacted by the pandemic were at risk of food insecurity before COVID-19. As the largest food company in the U.S., we believe we succeed only when our local communities succeed. Therefore, we have a responsibility to provide children access to the food and resources they need," said Steven Williams, CEO, PepsiCo Foods North America. "The 'Building the Future Together' program reinforces our longstanding commitment to provide a level of food security for thousands of students needing a hand up from these resources."
In 2020, PepsiCo and Frito-Lay North America donated more than $60 million globally for PepsiCo's COVID-19 relief efforts, $22 million in Frito-Lay products to communities in need, served 74 million nutritious meals for at-risk students and families through PepsiCo's Food for Good program, Share Our Strength, Team Rubicon, GENYOUth, and more.
"We believe no child should go to bed hungry," said Travis Arnold, president and CEO of Feed the Children. "The past 18 months have been especially challenging. We must continue to look for innovative ways to defeat hunger. Through the 'Building the Future Together' initiative, we are working diligently with our partners at Frito-Lay to ensure that as needs rise, students continue to receive the food and supplies they need."
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LANSING, Mich. - The 2021 Michigan Heart Gallery featuring a photographic exhibit of 79 Michigan children in foster care who are seeking forever families through adoption will be unveiled Sept. 18 at Emagine Theater in Royal Oak.
This grand opening will launch the annual statewide photographic tour showcasing many of Michigan's youth awaiting adoption from foster care.
The Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), a program of the Judson Center, organizes the exhibit for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Fifty professional photographers from throughout the state donated their time and talents to make the 2021 Heart Gallery possible.
The grand opening is from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the theater, 200 N. Main St., Royal Oak. The event is open to the public, but attendees are asked to register in advance by visiting www.mare.org or calling 800-589-6273.
In Michigan more than 2,000 children in foster care have a goal of adoption and more than 200 of them do not have an identified adoptive family.
"MDHHS believes that children in foster care deserve loving, permanent homes," said Demetrius Starling, executive director of the department's Children's Services Agency. "The Heart Gallery provides an opportunity for adoption supporters - including people who are considering adopting a child - to learn the unique stories of children who are waiting for adoptive homes."
Guest speakers will include Starling and Lenora Hardy-Foster, CEO of Judson Center.
Festivities will include a video on the big screen highlighting youth who need adoptive families followed by a luncheon reception and gallery viewing.
"The 2021 Heart Gallery Grand Opening strives to raise awareness for adoption of older youth," said MARE Program Manager Michelle Parra. "This is a great event to learn about adoption through foster care."
To learn more about the Michigan Heart Gallery, visit www.miheart.org or call 800-589-6273.
MARE is an information and referral service for prospective adoptive parents interested in adopting children from foster care and for adoption workers looking for homes for these children. The MARE website, www.mare.org, includes biographies of children who are available for adoption and lists additional events occurring throughout the state in the upcoming year.
Frito-Lay and Feed the Children provide critical food items to students during 2021-2022 school year
Event debuts Michigan children awaiting adoption