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United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Frito-Lay, Pepsico Announce Community Initiative – Southern Dallas Thrives

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America, PepsiCo Foundation, and PepsiCo’s Food for Good nutrition team recently announced the launch of a focused community initiative to help make meaningful improvements in the lives of Southern Dallas citizens – Southern Dallas Thrives.

Southern Dallas Thrives aims to increase the quality of preschool education in Southern Dallas communities, provide families with nutritious meals and prepare high school students with the career and college preparation they need to succeed – all while giving unemployed parents access to childcare they need to enter and participate in the workforce.

In addition, the PepsiCo Foundation will provide a $600,000 grant over three years to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. The grant will increase the quality of child care in Southern Dallas as well as provide additional childcare facilities over time. This will give mothers a chance to enter the workforce and lay the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.

“Frito-Lay and PepsiCo are committed to the success of the community we call home,” said Vivek Sankaran, president, chief operating officer, Frito-Lay North America, in the release. “While Southern Dallas is a part of our city that faces significant challenges, there is a strength and drive to succeed there. By providing support for this special place, we believe we can strengthen our entire community and help all of our neighbors thrive.”

Today, the unemployment rate in Southern Dallas is more than triple that of the Dallas-Ft. Worth average and nearly 30 percent of residents there live in poverty. More than 90 percent of Southern Dallas students are disadvantaged and over 45 percent of children not kindergarten-ready.

Within the next three to five years, the Southern Dallas Thrives initiative aims to:

  • Serve 1 million meals through Food for Good, PepsiCo’s signature nutrition operation that has already delivered 80 million servings of nutritious foods to low-income families in 19 U.S. communities since 2009
  • Increase kindergarten readiness by 10 percent by providing volunteers to early childhood centers in Southern Dallas, and improve the quality and accessibility of childcare to working mothers
  • Provide 200 mothers the opportunity to work through partnering with United Way agencies that target unemployed moms and provide mentorship, engagement activities, career access and funding support for daycare
  • Help 85 percent of South Oak Cliff High School students graduate college or prepare to be career-ready through tutoring and mentoring efforts at South Oak Cliff Collegiate Academy, located in Southern Dallas

“We are exceedingly proud to partner with Frito-Lay and the PepsiCo Foundation in effectively bridging the opportunity gap in our city’s southern sector,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton president, chief executive officer, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Together, we are committed to equipping and empowering all of our community’s children and their families with access to quality education and stable jobs so they can lead healthy, productive and hope-filled lives.”

With today’s announcement, PepsiCo and Frito-Lay are encouraging local employees and the broader Dallas-Fort Worth community to volunteer and donate to


United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based non-profit organization that treats 360 degrees of need. For over 90 years, we have brought people and resources together to fight complex social problems by surrounding North Texans with efficient, impactful solutions. Since 2011, we’ve invested more than $147M in 200+ local programs that tackle issues across education, income and health; the essential components of a thriving community. We encourage North Texans to get involved by giving, volunteering or advocating and helping lift up those in need now and in the future. United, we help those who want to do good, do great. Learn more at publishes every week.
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