Jennifer Saenz, senior vice president, chief marketing officer, Frito-Lay North America, helped lead the largest Frito-Lay Thrives Thursdays event to-date.

Frito-Lay associates organize largest Southern Dallas Thrives volunteer event to date

by Ginni Beam, special contributor | June 17, 2019

Since early 2019, Frito-Lay has impacted the Southern Dallas community through monthly “Thrives Thursdays” group volunteer events. These events are a key part of Frito-Lay’s Southern Dallas Thrives initiative in partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, which seeks to meaningfully improve the lives of Southern Dallas citizens. More than 170 Frito-Lay associates volunteered nearly 260 hours at its largest Thrives Thursdays event to date.

While the events usually partner with a single local nonprofit per month, this Thursday was coordinated through three community partners including PepsiCo Foundation’s signature Food for Good program. A group of Frito-Lay associates packed 28,000 weekend meals at Frito-Lay’s headquarters in Plano. The meals were given to North Texas Food Bank partner Crossroads Community Services for distribution in Southern Dallas, where nearly 30 percent of residents are impoverished.

“Giving back to communities and people in need is at the heart of Frito-Lay. I am proud we were able to provide 28,000 meals to the Southern Dallas area,” said Jennifer Saenz, senior vice president, chief marketing officer, Frito-Lay North America. “Our longstanding relationship with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and its partners will only continue to grow because of events like these where our associates are out in our own backyard making a difference.”

Food for Good harnesses PepsiCo’s expertise in nutrition and distribution to fight hunger across the country, offering summer and after-school meal programs and weekend “backpack” bundles to underserved families. Together with a wide partner network, Food for Good has delivered over 25 million meals to low-income families since the program’s 2009 inception, serving 19 cities in 10 states.

“PepsiCo is committed to making nutritious meals more accessible for those in need, and Food for Good is operating on the frontline of that mission,” says Matt Smith, director, Food for Good nutrition team. “Food for Good began in Dallas over a decade ago, and we’re proud to continue to serve our Southern Dallas neighbors in partnership with United Way, CitySquare, and community leaders such as Anna Hill in Dolphin Heights.”

The Dolphin Heights community in Southern Dallas was integral to the start of Food for Good. Anna Hill, president of the Dolphin Heights Neighborhood Association, was a key figure in the development of the purpose-driven initiative. Food for Good has continued its support of Dolphin Heights ever since and it was a natural fit for a group of Frito-Lay associates to work at a community garden at Dolphin Heights.

Another group of Frito-Lay employees spent the day stocking a food pantry for United Way agency, CitySquare. The agency has long-served Southern Dallas alongside United Way and PepsiCo, via the establishment of CitySquare’s Opportunity Center and helping to provide summer and after-school meals.

“CitySquare and PepsiCo have enjoyed a strong friendship for many years. Our collaboration with PepsiCo’s Food for Good program has been instrumental in serving millions of meals to children after school and during the summer, and through the summer mobile meal program known as Food on the Move,” says Dr. John Siburt, president, chief operating officer, CitySquare. “We are especially grateful for PepsiCo’s support of CitySquare’s work in Southern Dallas and for all of the efforts and energy of their volunteer commitment.”

With 22 innovative programs, CitySquare effectively addresses the issues that prevent individuals and families from rising up out of poverty: hunger, health, housing and hope. The support of CitySquare’s partners and donors allows them to fight the causes and effects of poverty, bring hope to its neighbors and to the city, rebuild communities and reclaim lives.

Visit SouthernDallasThrives.com for more information on the ways Frito-Lay and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas are helping North Texans in need and how you can contribute.

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