New Delhi: This Whole Grain Sampling Day 2022, PepsiCo India expanded its flagship initiative ‘Bowl of Hope’, aimed at creating awareness about whole grains and their importance in daily diets. Aligned with FFSAI’s Eat Right Movement, PepsiCo India through its brand Quaker and in partnership with Smile Foundation is providing over one lakh nutritious bowls of whole grains to underserved communities across the country. Further, to mark the Whole Grain Sampling Day, a special education programme was organised for school children at Santulan Bhavan in Pune, Maharashtra.
The special event was attended by Dr Laxmaiah, Scientist and Head Public Health, National Institute of Nutrition, Shilpa Shirole, President – Indian Dietetics Association, President (Pune Chapter), Chef Oindrila Bala, Ankita Marwaha, Associate Director-Nutrition Science, PepsiCo India, Juhi Gupta, Head Sustainability PepsiCo India and MSubroto Roy, Senior Director Operations, Smile Foundation. Special educational videos, presentations and street plays were organised to create awareness around importance of whole grains at the event. Further, on the occasion, whole grains were distributed to children and special nutritious recipes with oats were also curated and served.
Speaking at the event, Dr Laxmaiah, Scientist and Head Public Health, National Institute of Nutrition, said, “There is a high correlation between lack of access to nutritious meals, student performance in the classroom, and school dropouts. I am very delighted to see how PepsiCo India and Smile Foundation have come together to educate the children about the benefits of nutrition and active lifestyle. I am sure this initiative will not only help build awareness on the issue but will also improve children’s nutrition quotient.”
Shilpa Shirole, President – Indian Dietetics Association President (Pune Chapter) said, “Prolonged nutritional deficiency among kids leave them small for their age. Undernourished kids also fall sick often and it impacts the overall growth. Kids need a healthy balanced diet from each food group to get wide range of nutrients to stay healthy. A sustainable healthy diet comprises of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains. I congratulate PepsiCo India for their efforts in Pune on creating awareness amongst children on the importance of eating whole grains for better nutrition and overall development.”
Subroto Roy, Senior Director Operations, Smile Foundation said, “Smile Foundation is happy to be a part of this fantastic initiative and endeavour to check malnutrition amongst children. At Smile Foundation, we endorse consumption of whole grains and nutritious meals towards the overall mental and physical well-being of children. We are confident that initiatives such as Bowl of Hope will go a long way to create a healthy society.”
Speaking about the initiative, Ankita Marwaha, Associate Director-Nutrition Science, PepsiCo India said, “Children are the building blocks of nation’s present and future; and nourishing them to flourish and thrive are intrinsically linked. Over the years, PepsiCo India through its brand Quaker has been working towards addressing the nutrition gap and educating children on the importance of nutrition and active lifestyle. Our flagship initiative, ‘Bowl of Hope’ is another step in that direction. After receiving an encouraging response in the first year, we are happy to collaborate with Smile Foundation to enhance nutrition literacy among children.”
This year, the initiative is focused on creating on-ground awareness amongst school children on stunting issues, lack of energy, and the broader concept of ‘nutrition’ in Pune, Maharashtra. At the special event, Chef Oindrila Bala also curated and shared interesting recipes such as oats pancake and oats idli among others for the children present at the event.
In addition to that, ‘Bowl of Hope’ initiative uniquely offers brand contribution and employee volunteerism. As part of the same commitment, PepsiCo India created a microsite where employees contributed towards the initiative for underserved communities.
One-third of preschool children and adolescent girls in India are anemic as per National Institute of Nutrition and 35.3 per cent are stunted as per National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019-21. To improve nutrition and in line with Government of India’s Poshan Abhiyan and FSSAI ‘Eat Right Movement’, last year PepsiCo India launched Bowl of Hope, to create awareness on the importance and variety of whole grains and their benefits. Under this programme, PepsiCo India provided nutritious meals to children in Delhi-NCR.