Jackson State University receives 50K from PepsiCo to address food access

Courtesy of Jackson State University

Jackson State was presented with a big check by PepsiCo at the JSU vs. Alcorn game on Saturday, Nov. 18. Pictured left to right: Darrin Morris, franchise development director for Pepsi; Gwen Caples, interim vice president of Institutional Advancement; Elayne Hayes-Anthony, Ph.D., acting president of JSU; Shelley Brown Floyd, executive vice president of Brown Bottling Group; Bill Brown, president and CEO of Brown Bottling Group and Ashley Robinson, vice president and director of athletics at JSU.

Jackson State University’s Tiger Food Pantry received $50,000 from PepsiCo as part of the beverage company’s ongoing support of HBCUs. The company announced $250,000 in grants that aim to eliminate food insecurity across five HBCU campuses, including JSU. Established in 2018, the JSU Tiger Food Pantry supplies toiletries and non-perishable food items to students in need at no cost.

“It is our responsibility to prepare our students for success, and alleviating the worry of their next meal is one way to do so. We are most appreciative of PepsiCo’s efforts to help us in our endeavor to provide a better quality of life for our campus community,” said Elayne Hayes-Anthony, Ph.D., acting president of JSU.

Tailored to each university’s needs, the donation is designed to support each campus’s unique efforts to help students who struggle to balance the cost of their education and their next meal. With the rate of food insecurity among college students growing nationally, those at HBCUs are historically impacted the most. According to data released this year from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, almost 40% of HBCU students report being food insecure, a statistic that carries more weight as many campuses encounter record attendance rates this semester.

“Brown Bottling Group is a proud sponsor of Jackson State University. We recognize the importance of the JSU Tiger Food pantry, and our financial contribution will aid in their mission of enhancing students’ lived experiences while in college,” said Shelley Brown Floyd, executive vice president of Brown Bottling Group.

Across the five selected HBCU campuses, the grants will support more than 37,500 students facing food insecurity by funding on-campus food pantry supplies and groceries, meal plans for homeless students, cooking and meal prep workshops, stipends for student staff within the pantries, and more. In addition, PepsiCo will also supply free meals for approximately 2,000 students at select universities during their respective winter finals weeks in December.

“Food insecurities among college students are more serious than we may think. I am very passionate about the JSU Food Pantry. When you make a meaningful impact on a person’s life, it leaves a lasting impression,” said Shonda DeVerteuil, associate director for JSU Business Operations in Housing and Residence Life, “This incredible grant will make it easier for students to fulfill their hopes and dreams, with a result of paying it forward.

The donation is part of PepsiCo’s larger HBCU Tour to support HBCU students and celebrate the legacy of these universities. Driven by Pepsi Zero Sugar and Doritos SOLID BLACK, the tour correlates with the brands’ ongoing initiatives to provide resources and a platform for elevating Changemakers in local communities.

Brown Bottling Group partners with PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper to offer a diverse portfolio of carbonated and non-carbonated coffee, water, and tea products, including but not limited to Pepsi, Dr Pepper, Gatorade, Starbucks, Lipton, Aquafina, Muscle Milk, and Celsius. Brown Bottling Group is based in Mississippi and has served the great state for over fifty years. For more information on Brown Bottling Group, please visit www.browngroup.net.