The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, PepsiCo R&D team and brand Quaker launched ‘Bowl of Growth’ a special nutrition focused program in partnership with NGO MAMTA HIMC in Pune, Maharashtra to provide 1,000 children aged 3 to 5 years with wholesome nourishment each day. The interventions under the Bowl of Growth program are designed with focus on three key pillars - Nutrition, Awareness, and Education.
In India, about 1.5 million children under the age of 5 suffer from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) as a result of inadequate dietary intake and infectious disease. To combat this issue and mark the International Year of Millets, ‘Bowl of Growth’ curated a locally acceptable recipe of ‘Panjiri’, from a millet and multigrain-based Quaker product, containing 18 additional micro-nutrients designed by PepsiCo R&D team specifically to the local needs of children from the region.
The program was launched by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, minister of Tourism, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Women and Child Development, Government of Maharashtra at a special event in Pune. The program was also attended by Rubal Agarwal, commissioner, ICDS, Government of Maharashtra, Ayush Prasad, IAS, chief executive officer, Pune, Zillha Parishad, Dr. Pietro Antonio Tataranni, managing director, chief medical officer and senior vice president, R&D Life Sciences, PepsiCo, Anshul Khanna, senior director & category head – Foods, PepsiCo India, Mijanur Rahman, R&D Region senior director, PepsiCo India, Kareem Mohamed, International Programs Lead, PepsiCo Foundation, and virtually by Vikas Khanna, celebrity chef & Quaker India brand ambassador.
Mangal Prabhat Lodha, minister of Tourism, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Women and Child Development, Government of Maharashtra, said, “As we celebrate the International Year of Millets in 2023, the ‘Bowl of Growth’ program by PepsiCo Foundation and MAMTA, will help us take forward our Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of positioning India as the ‘Global Hub of Millets’. Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shinde and the Government of Maharashtra welcome this initiative and offer full cooperation to PepsiCo for this program. Such collaborations between the private sector, government, and civil society organizations are the perfect example of how we can create a positive health impact among the underserved communities of the state, by working together and focusing on a common goal.”
Dr. Pietro Antonio Tataranni, managing director, chief medical officer and senior vice president, R&D Life Sciences, PepsiCo, said, “Through our pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) commitment, we are focused on providing positive choices that are better for people and for our planet. The ‘Bowl of Growth’ program is an important step in our efforts with Quaker to support underserved communities in India through education and awareness of the issue of malnutrition, along with the importance of millet and other critical nutrients in a child’s diet.”
C.D. Glin, president, PepsiCo Foundation & Global Head of Philanthropy, PepsiCo Inc., said, “At the PepsiCo Foundation, we have been working with our partners to combat food insecurity worldwide through various means, including delivering meals, helping food banks strengthen their operations, and supporting farmers with sustainable agriculture training. Food security is a global issue that requires innovative solutions that can be adapted and localized. Building upon learnings from a similar, successful program with malnourished children in Mexico, we are eager to partner with Mamta HIMC on improving access to childhood nutrition in Maharashtra.”
Ahmed ElSheikh, president, PepsiCo India, said, “At PepsiCo India, we believe that good child nutrition can make for a brighter, more prosperous future. Through brand Quaker, we have always focused on working towards bridging the nutrition gap and educating children on the importance of nutrition and active lifestyle. The ‘Bowl of Growth’ program will focus on three key pillars – nutrition, awareness, and education to bring a positive change and create lasting impact on children.”
Dr Sunil Mehra, executive director, MAMTA HIMC, “Undernutrition in children sets in over a period and when unaddressed timely, mild malnutrition may proceed into moderate (MAM) and severe malnutrition (SAM). Parental knowledge of red flags or warning signs for early identification of malnutrition is critical for parents to intervene or seek help. We are delighted to associate with PepsiCo Foundation for the ‘Bowl of Growth’ program and through various on-ground interventions and nutritional supplements we look forward to creating healthy and balance lifestyle impact for children of Pune.”
‘Bowl of Growth’ is an extension of PepsiCo’s pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) ambition and Food for Good philanthropic efforts to create a sustainable future for people and the planet - including by increasing nutritious food access for 50 million people by 2030.
The program will be implemented in Khed Taluka, near Pune city in Pune district of the state of Maharashtra where identified malnourished children will be provided with a nutritious supplement. The program will also include ongoing monitoring of the progress of the children to analyze the impact and nutritional recovery of the participants.
The program unveil was also accompanied with the launch of an illustrated comic book, designed to educate members of the target communities in an engaging format.
Note - As per the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition contributed to about 45% of deaths, globally, in children under 5 years of age until 2021. In India, malnourishment in children under 5 years which includes stunting, wasting and being underweight, has reduced as per NHFS-5 (2019-21) from 38.4% to 35.5%, 21.0% to 19.3% and 35.8% to 32.1% respectively as compared to NHFS-4 (2015-16). Management of mild to acute malnutrition through additional supplementary nutrition and counselling to caregivers has been found to be an effective strategy.