PepsiCo has developed two new delivery programs with nonprofit food providers Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and Forgotten Harvest in an effort to get more fresh, healthy food to Detroit area residents in need.
“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,” says Tony West, president of the PepsiCo Foundation, PepsiCo’s charity.
West says PepsiCo created a program for southwest Detroit residents who use the federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy healthy food for less money through a traveling food pantry that Gleaners will launch before the end of the year, called “My Neighborhood Mobile Grocery.”
Customers will be able to purchase food at subsidized prices from a list of about 50 staples, such as milk, potatoes, and cooking oil. About a third of southwest Detroit residents receive SNAP benefits, also known as the Bridge Card or EBT.
“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,” says Gerry Brisson, president of Detroit-based Gleaners.
West says the program with Forgotten Harvest involves a new logistics plan to help the nonprofit source more food and distribute it more efficiently to underserved areas of metro Detroit. Forgotten Harvest will use a more decentralized supply chain model that’s designed to ensure the availability of a higher volume of fresh, healthy food. In turn, West says Forgotten Harvest should save money and time by coordinating logistics and food collection.
At the end of the year, the pilot program will be evaluated in terms of cost efficiencies and quality service levels, with the goal to implement the model in underserved areas in Oakland and Wayne counties next year.
The PepsiCo Foundation donated a 53-foot semi-tractor trailer to Forgotten Harvest and a 24-foot mobile food pantry to Gleaners.