Almost 20 million children across the United States rely on subsidized free or reduced-price lunch programs as one of their main sources of nutrition during the school year. But during the summer, many of these children do not have safe, reliable transportation options to the locations where free meals are offered.
Taking a cue from the neighborhood ice cream truck, Amy Chen and her team piloted a program through PepsiCo’s Food for Good initiative to bring healthy meals directly to children in need in South Dallas. The program, which is a partnership between PepsiCo, local community organizations, and the government, has since expanded to other locations in Dallas as well as Chicago and now serves over 300,000 meals each summer.
The 1.5-year-old Food for Good program is focused on using business to solve social problems, working with inner-city communities to address their specific challenges with impactful, sustainable solutions. For example, many of the areas served by Food for Good lack healthy food options, as grocery stores are not located nearby and local convenience stores do not offer affordable, nutritious food or fresh fruits and vegetables. Amy and her team are exploring and piloting a number of new initiatives to address this systemic challenge, including an urban teaching farm in partnership with a local college and community-run farm stands offering produce centrally within the community.
As Project Manager for Food for Good, Amy has her dream job blending her business and policy experience with her passion for social justice. She holds a J.D./MBA degree from Stanford University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Harvard University.