I've said it before on this blog, but I'll say it again -- of all the things I love about Frito-Lay and PepsiCo, our ability to give back to the community is at the top of the list. This morning, I had the opportunity to attend the GENYOUth 2014 Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit to watch as Frito-Lay President Tom Greco announced two grants from the PepsiCo Foundation geared towards improving the health and wellness of America’s kids through the power of physical activity and good nutrition. The grants will support the following leading school-based health and wellness programs:
- One $700,000 grant will go to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas to fund an expansion of the Healthy Zone School program across metropolitan Dallas from the 51 schools currently served to 90 schools. The grant will also fund a three-year pilot program in the Arlington, Texas school district that links Fuel Up to Play 60 and Healthy Zone Schools.
- Another $550,000 of the grant will go to GENYOUth Foundation to support Fuel Up to Play 60 en Español, which has been developed specifically to address the needs of Latino students and their families, a population in which the prevalence of overweight, obesity and food insecurity is especially high in the U.S.
A growing body of research shows that physical activity and healthy eating are positively linked with student academic achievement. Both Healthy Zone Schools and Fuel Up to Play 60 are school-based initiatives designed to influence the nutrition and physical activity environment in schools that can result in measurable changes in student behavior and/or fitness outcomes. Both programs recognize and reward schools for their healthy practices.