PepsiCo India has successfully adopted FSSAI’s Eat Right School (Safe and Nutritious Food, @School) program, in line with company’s commitment towards creating awareness about safe food, healthy and sustainable diets.
The adopted modules were rolled out in leading home science colleges across the country where volunteering students were trained as “Safe and Nutritious Food (SNF) Fellows”.
These SNF fellows later implemented the programe across schools in Delhi, Gurugram and Mumbai. In 2018-2019, the SNF Fellows facilitated informative sessions on Iron Deficiency Anemia across schools impacting over 4.5 lakh children. For the year 2019-20, PepsiCo plans to expand the reach to over 200 schools in these cities with a focused curriculum on whole grains.
Through the nation-wide Eat Right School (SNF@School) Program, PepsiCo aims to create continuous engagement with students, teachers and parents to make them aware of the importance of ‘safe and nutritious food’ and inculcate the habit of eating safe and eating right. The SNF Fellows deliver sessions covering basics of nutrition to students and teachers in schools. So far, around 360 such Fellows have conducted educational sessions for the schools in Delhi, Gurugram and Mumbai.
Talking about the commitment Ahmed ElSheikh, President, PepsiCo India, “Our support to the FSSAI’s Eat Right School (SNF@School) program is an extension of our global commitment to transform our portfolio to deliver products with improved nutrition across our beverages and snacks portfolio. We at PepsiCo India, recognize the significance of promoting healthy, nutritious and safe food, and the need to support such interventions to drive a larger impact for the society. We plan to continue to scale our efforts to inculcate healthy food habits amongst the community.”
Recognizing PepsiCo’s efforts, Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI said, “Students are the most susceptible to food-borne diseases and due to lack of awareness, they are open to experimenting with different kinds of foods (mostly unhealthy) while at school. The objective of FSSAI’S Eat Right School (SNF@School) program is to create continuous engagement with students, teachers & parents to make them aware about the importance of safe food, healthy and sustainable diets. PepsiCo India has been engaged in promoting right messaging around safe and healthy food through various interventions as a shared responsibility and demonstrated that it is a socially responsible business”.
Elaborating on FSSAI’s Eat Right School Program, Dr. Eram Rao, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Food Technology, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, Delhi University said, “Last year, contrary to our expectation, we saw that children were receptive towards the knowledge shared with them on Iron deficiency and even after a few days, when we tested the knowledge retention of children, the results were outstanding. Children have the power to influence behaviour of their parents and family and through this program, we have seen it happen.”
Talking about the initiative, Dr. Jagmeet Madan, National President Indian Dietetic Association and Principal, Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Science (Autonomous) SNDTWU, Mumbai said, “We are honored to be a part of FSSAI’s initiative that has been implemented by PepsiCo India. This program has benefitted our students with advanced training and has helped them to channelize their knowledge practically. Today, there is a need to bring a change in our lifestyle and switch to healthier eating options which is possible only when we have the right information of what constitutes our meals. We look forward to take this initiative ahead.”
Since 2006, PepsiCo has been running a nutrition education program called Get Active. PepsiCo India along with partnering NGOs and a Nutrition College, has spread education on key nutrition topics like Fruit Nutrition, Energy balance, Food pyramid, Iron deficiency anemia to 2.4 million school children in 477 schools across 12 metros in India from 2006 - 2016.