NNA - The PepsiCo Foundation, PepsiCo’s philanthropic arm, has committed to provide more than half a million meals to some of the most vulnerable families in Lebanon, through a donation of USD 310,000 to its long-term partner the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). This initiative marks the next milestone on PepsiCo’s mission to reinforce food security across the region.
Leveraging its global footprint and international brand influence, the company is also launching the PepsiCo Challenge on ShareTheMeal, WFP’s award-winning app, which enables users to feed a person in need with just the tap of their smartphone. Starting during the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Challenge aspires to reach 1 million meals with crowd-sourced contributions from across the region and beyond, thus enabling WFP to continue its vital work, providing life-saving food assistance in Lebanon.
Over the past two years, the devastating combination of economic downturn, steep inflation, COVID-19, and the Beirut explosion has led to more than 75 percent of the Lebanese population living in poverty, a number that has nearly doubled since 2019. The Lebanese pound has been decimated, losing approximately 90 percent of its market value and coupled with the inflation on food costs, the price of the WFP food basket – a collection of staple food items - has increased twelvefold.
“We are proud to launch this new initiative in partnership with WFP, focused on enhancing food security among vulnerable communities in Lebanon. The PepsiCo Challenge on ShareTheMeal will help leverage WFP’s reach to further strengthen the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that focus on Zero Hunger. We hope the initiative will inspire others to join the campaign by donating towards a brighter future for the people of Lebanon” said Riad Mawass, General Manager for Franchise Food and Beverage Operations in Levant and North Africa.
Through strategic partnerships and programs globally, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation are striving for tangible impact in places where they operate — collaborating with industry peers, local and international organizations, and employees to affect large-scale change in the communities where PepsiCo operates. Over the past 10 years, the PepsiCo Foundation has contributed more than USD 10 million to WFP through various programs including disaster relief and school meals.
“Food security is now a major concern for the majority of people in Lebanon. WFP remains committed to collaborating with partners like PepsiCo to help mitigate the impact of crises on the most vulnerable by providing them with basic income support including food,” says Abdallah Al Wardat, WFP Representative and Country Director in Lebanon. “Through the ShareTheMeal app, WFP and PepsiCo will be providing much-needed food assistance as Lebanon reels under the impact of local and global crises.”
Understanding that partnerships are essential to scaling meaningful change, PepsiCo is committed to working with partners like WFP to drive sustainable food systems and access to nutritious food. Globally, PepsiCo aims to improve the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in the agricultural supply chain by 2030, with focus on economically empowering women and making farming more diverse in the face of an aging global farming population. In the Middle East, the focus remains on bolstering underserved populations, to make the entire food system stronger and ensure the region is more food secure.