The PepsiCo Foundation has given a $1 million to LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles. The three-year grant will go toward the establishment of an Edible Teaching Garden and Culinary Arts Program for Hispanic youth in the local community. LA Plaza’s efforts in Southern California focus on improving children’s awareness of nutrition, increasing physical activity and strengthening knowledge of Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine.

The $1 million grant will bolster interdisciplinary, hands-on learning environments, which include:

  • Educational programming focused on the history, production and nutritional value of fruits and vegetables
  • Physical fitness through gardening and walking activities
  • Awareness of the origins of Mexican cuisine and how modern-day chefs are reinterpreting healthy Mexican-American nouveaux-cuisine
  • Instruction on preparing healthy family meals through training programs designed for young cooks
  • Outdoor classroom projects that educate children about environmental sustainability

“LA Plaza is about experiencing history and culture, and our Edible Teaching Garden and Culinary Arts Program provides a unique hands-on experience in a distinctive learning environment where youth will gain knowledge about the history and nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, while discovering the Mexican-American history and culture — one of the greatest which is our food,” said Los Angeles County and LA Plaza board member Gloria Molina. “It’s not easy to get our kids to eat their vegetables. The lack of healthy eating habits particularly affects our low-income communities. Thanks to PepsiCo’s generous donation and partnership, LA Plaza students will help promote healthy eating in their households and communities.”

Through the PepsiCo Foundation’s commitment to an Edible Teaching Garden and Culinary Arts program, LA Plaza will ultimately support thousands of children ages 5-20, as well as hundreds of regional teachers through curriculum-based workshops, group tours, online resources and more.

The Foundation’s contribution underscores PepsiCo’s ongoing commitment to the Hispanic community. Inspired by the company’s mission of “Performance with Purpose,” La Promesa de PepsiCo focuses on building stronger Latino communities by advancing Latino leadership nationwide and working with leading national organizations to find solutions to challenges in the areas of education, health and wellness, and community.

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