PepsiCo commits 25,000 COVID-19 testing kits, over 5 million meals to India
PepsiCo India, along with its parent company's philanthropic arm PepsiCo Foundation, will provide 25,000 COVID-19 testing kits and over five million meals to support families impacted by the coronavirus outbreak in India, the company said on Monday.
The food and beverages major said it had partnered with Akshaya Patra Foundation for distribution of cooked meals, and with Smile Foundation for providing dry food ration to support meals for over 8,000 vulnerable families impacted by the pandemic.
This initiative is part of parent company PepsiCo's global programme called 'Give Meals, Give Hope'.
Further, PepsiCo India has partnered with non-profit organisation Foundation of Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) for providing 25,000 COVID-19 testing kits. FIND is the World Health Organisation's (WHO) collaborating centre for laboratory strengthening and diagnostic technology evaluation. It works closely with the Indian government.
These testing kits will be deployed across public and private healthcare laboratories identified by the Indian government to scale up access to COVID-19 testing, the company added.
Stating that India, like the rest of the world, was facing an unprecedented challenge, PepsiCo India President Ahmed ElSheikh said, "Providing meals to the economically weaker sections and testing kits to diagnostic units are critical requirements at this stage."
He added that the company stands committed to lending its full support to both the central and state governments in their fight to collectively overcome the global health challenge.
To further mobilise funds, PepsiCo India said it had launched a double matching gifts programme, which involves its employees lending support to communities that are impacted by COVID-19.
As part of the programme, PepsiCo Foundation will match all employee donations two-fold and give the total accumulated funds to NGO partners.
PepsiCo globally has announced its commitment to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The major focus of this global effort includes providing protective gear to healthcare workers, testing and screening services as well as providing 50 million meals through various partnerships.
There are over 4,000 COVID-19 positive cases in India at present, as per government data.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)