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PepsiCo Foundation Awards $1 Million to LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

by Philanthropy News Digest

September 18, 2011

The PepsiCo Foundation has announced a three-year, $1 million grant to Los Angeles-based LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes to establish an Edible Teaching Garden and Culinary Arts Program for Hispanic youth.

The organization’s programs in Southern California work to improve children’s awareness of nutrition, increase their physical activity, and strengthen their knowledge of Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine. With the commitment from PepsiCo, the organization hopes to engage thousands of children and hundreds of regional teachers through a range of curriculum-based workshops, group tours, and Web-based services.

When completed, the interdisciplinary hands-on learning environments will include educational programming focused on the history, production, and nutritional value of fruits and vegetables; physical fitness activities such as gardening and walking; awareness of the origins of Mexican cuisine and how modern-day chefs are reinterpreting healthy Mexican-American nouveaux cuisine; information on preparing healthy family meals; and outdoor classroom projects that educate children about environmental sustainability.

“LA Plaza’s approach to child education is unique, in that it aims to empower youth while raising awareness of nutrition, exercise, agriculture and cultural heritage, all of which are important to PepsiCo,” said Jacqueline Millan, senior director of corporate contributions at the company. “This program will benefit children by sharing the rich cultural history and significance of Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine, while at the same time encouraging them to lead healthier lifestyles.”

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