WFP and Pepsico foundation partner to introduce hot school meals

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, and the PepsiCo Foundation launched an initiative today to give 2,000 primary school students in the Kyrgyz Republic access to daily, hot school meals.

Thanks to a contribution from the PepsiCo Foundation, WFP procured over 70 units of high-capacity industrial kitchen equipment for rural schools located in remote, food-insecure areas of Kyrgyz Republic’s Chui province.  This equipment, including electric stoves, multi-deck ovens, dough-mixing machines, refrigerators and water boilers, enabled WFP to introduce hot food into the school lunch menu.

“Performance with Purpose is at the heart of PepsiCo so we asked our staff to vote for a social activity they wanted to see supported to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary and support our local community. As a result, we partnered with WFP in the Kyrgyz Republic to aid in the improvement of school meals. We are confident this initiative will deliver concrete results and contribute to developing the full potential of Kyrgyz children,” said Director General of BishkekSut Dairy Factory – a PepsiCo subsidiary – Margarita Roumiantseva during the launch ceremony.

Part of the funding was also used to produce tailored plans to ensure the most efficient use of space in each school, improve procurement practices, provide training for school chefs, renovate school canteens and design improved menus. Local authorities also supported the introduction of hot meals by providing additional financial support to improve water and electricity supplies at these schools.

“The private sector has the power to help shape the future by bringing its knowledge and technology to address developmental challenges,” said WFP Kyrgyz Republic Country Director Ram Saravanamuttu. “We are confident this initiative will become a model for corporate social responsibility partnerships that help build a brighter future for the next generation here in the Kyrgyz Republic.”