~ The Program benefits 1000 girls in the district, diagnosed with mild to severe anaemia ~
~ Michelin star Chef and PepsiCo’s Nutrition Ambassador Vikas Khanna develops nutritious ‘laddoo’ recipe using local ingredients to help supplement diet ~
Palanpur (Gujarat), 19 February 2020: With the aim of reducing the prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls, PepsiCo Foundation, in partnership with NGO partner Smile Foundation, has commenced a nutrition enhancement program called ‘Sampoorna’ (meaning ‘Complete or whole’) in Banaskantha district, Gujarat.
The project is working to improve the health and nutrition levels of at least 1,000 adolescent girls across 10 villages in the Banaskantha district.
Shri Haribhai Chaudhary, Hon’ble Minister for Coal & Mines, Government of Gujarat and celebrity star Chef Vikas Khanna attended the reception where senior leaders from PepsiCo India and Smile Foundation presented the program model to the Minister.
Designed as a model program for addressing the prevalence of anaemia among girls, project ‘Sampoorna’ aims to encourage behavioural change regarding proper dietary practices, and help improve nutrition quotient, while also empowering the girls with livelihood capabilities.
As part of the nutrition enhancement efforts, the program has also roped in Michelin Star Chef and PepsiCo’s Nutrition Ambassador, Vikas Khanna to develop a nutritious recipe that will supplement the girls’ diet. Based on insights into diet and food preferences in the region, Chef Vikas Khanna has developed a nutritious ‘laddoo’ recipe using locally available ingredients like jaggery, sesame seeds and maize flour.
Speaking about the project, Ms. Neelima Dwivedi, Vice President, PepsiCo India, said, “Nutrition deficiency and related issues are real risks to socio-economic progress. We are happy to partner with Smile Foundation to effect positive change among the communities in Gujarat, particularly women and girls, as we believe that empowering a woman is equal to empowering a family. Our objective with project ‘Sampoorna’ is to help create a sustainable model to reduce the prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls through behaviour change and nutrition support. At the same time, the project will also help make a lasting impact by empowering these girls with livelihood trainings and linkages.”
“We are grateful to Chef Vikas Khanna for his contribution to the project, in giving his time and effort to create a nutritious recipe that is suited to the needs of the communities in the region. The ‘laddoo’ has been well received by the girls in the program, and we hope that they will benefit from making it a part of their diet going forward,” she added.
Commenting on his involvement with the PepsiCo Foundation project, PepsiCo’s Nutrition Ambassador, Michelin star Chef Vikas Khanna said, “I feel humbled to be part of this project. A healthy diet is paramount to long term well-being, especially in the formative years of adolescence among girls. At the same time, it is important to keep in mind the local palette. Given the fondness for sweetmeats in this region, we have reformulated the universally loved ‘laddoo’ using healthier ingredients that are easily available. I am delighted to see how well the children have accepted this recipe and hope that it can become a part of their regular diet. Once these girls realise the importance of eating healthy, they can surely bring change for their entire family by helping them adopt nutritious options.”
PepsiCo Foundation’s ‘Sampoorna’ program is structured to help beneficiaries through three key interventions – (i) Nutrition Training to building awareness for nutrition and hygiene and to encourage consumption of Iron-Folic acid tablets, (ii) Nutrition Support by strengthening government linkages and providing nutritious snacks, (iii) Capability Building through training in livelihood skills and linkages for long term impact.
Speaking about the partnership, Mr Santanu Mishra, co-founder and executive trustee, Smile Foundation said, “We share PepsiCo Foundation’s vision to help address the nutrition gap among children from underprivileged communities. It is our endeavour to bring about behavioural change that will help adolescent girls understand the importance of a nutritious diet, and we believe this will create a ripple effect for their family and future generations. Further, we hope that creating livelihood skills and opportunities will help them sustain the change.”
A baseline study conducted by Smile Foundation to assess the nutritional status of adolescent girls (14 to 19 years) in the region, reveals that 78% of adolescent girls are anaemic (varying from mild to severe), with 50% girls being moderately anaemic and about 13% being severely anaemic. The survey also revealed that only 17.6% were attending school, with most respondents (49%) dropping out of school after Class 6 or 8. The study further revealed that around 84% of the respondents have never consumed any multi-vitamin or iron folic acid supplements, and most of them having no awareness of anaemia or ever having checked their anaemic status.
Project ‘Sampoorna’ is in line with PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose 2025 vision to improve access to nutritious foods to underserved communities across the globe. The project has enrolled over 1000 adolescent girls from 10 villages in the Banaskantha district in Gujarat. In 2018, PepsiCo Foundation also invested INR 37.5 million to positively impact 3300 children in Gujarat through Akshayapatra’s meal distribution program.
Established in 1962, the PepsiCo Foundation works with non-profit partners to develop innovative, sustainable solutions that address challenges in underserved communities around the world. The Foundation, along with PepsiCo and its employees, seeks to catalyze efforts that advance our Performance with Purpose 2025 goals related to increasing access to nutritious servings, providing access to safe water, partnering to increase recycling rates, and enabling young women to progress through school and be successful in the workforce. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com/Purpose/Global-Citizenship.
PepsiCo entered India in 1989 and has grown to become one of the largest MNC food and beverage businesses in India. PepsiCo India has been consistently investing in the country and has built an expansive beverage and snack food business supported by 62 plants across foods and beverages. PepsiCo India’s diverse portfolio includes iconic brands like Pepsi, Lay’s, Kurkure, Tropicana 100%, Gatorade and Quaker.
PepsiCo’s growth in India has been guided by “Performance with Purpose”- our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enables PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. In 2009, PepsiCo India achieved a significant milestone, by becoming the first business to achieve ‘Positive Water Balance’ in the beverage world, a fact verified by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd. The company has been Water Positive since then. For more information, please visit www.pepsicoindia.co.in
About Smile Foundation:
Smile Foundation is a national level development organisation reaching out to more than 600,000 underprivileged children, youth and women directly every year through more than 250 welfare projects on subjects such as education, healthcare, youth employability, and women empowerment across 25 states of India. Adopting a life cycle approach of development, Smile Foundation focuses its interventions on children, their families and the community.
Website – www.smilefoundationindia.org
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