The PepsiCo Foundation announced today its commitment of a $1 million grant to support LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles, the nation’s premier center of Mexican American culture. The three-year grant will go toward the establishment of an Edible Teaching Garden and Culinary Arts Program for Hispanic youth in the local community. LA Plaza’s efforts in Southern California focus on improving children’s awareness of nutrition, increasing physical activity and strengthening knowledge of Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine.

“LA Plaza’s approach to child education is unique, in that it aims to empower youth while raising awareness of nutrition, exercise, agriculture and cultural heritage all of which are important to PepsiCo,” said Jacqueline Millan, senior director of corporate contributions at PepsiCo, Inc. “This program will benefit children by sharing the rich cultural history and significance of Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine, while at the same time encouraging them to lead healthier lifestyles.”

The $1 million grant will bolster interdisciplinary, hands-on learning environments, which include:

  • Educational programming focused on the history, production and nutritional value of fruits and vegetables
  • Physical fitness through gardening and walking activities
  • Awareness of the origins of Mexican cuisine and how modern-day chefs are reinterpreting healthy Mexican-American nouveaux-cuisine
  • Instruction on preparing healthy family meals through training programs designed for young cooks
  • Outdoor classroom projects that educate children about environmental sustainability

“LA Plaza is about experiencing history and culture, and our Edible Teaching Garden and Culinary Arts Program provides a unique hands-on experience in a distinctive learning environment where youth will gain knowledge about the history and nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, while discovering the Mexican-American history and culture — one of the greatest which is our food,” said Los Angeles County and LA Plaza board member Gloria Molina. “It’s not easy to get our kids to eat their vegetables. The lack of healthy eating habits particularly affects our low-income communities. Thanks to PepsiCo’s generous donation and partnership, LA Plaza students will help promote healthy eating in their households and communities. ”

Through the PepsiCo Foundation’s commitment to an Edible Teaching Garden and Culinary Arts program, LA Plaza will ultimately support thousands of children ages 5-20, as well as hundreds of regional teachers through curriculum-based workshops, group tours, online resources and more.


The Foundation’s contribution underscores PepsiCo’s ongoing commitment to the Hispanic community. Inspired by the company’s mission of “Performance with Purpose,” La Promesa de PepsiCo focuses on building stronger Latino communities by advancing Latino leadership nationwide and working with leading national organizations to find solutions to challenges in the areas of education, health and wellness, and community.

About LA Plaza
LA Plaza is the place to learn about, hear from, and explore the history and the contributions of Mexican Americans to Los Angeles and the nation. In the heart of Los Angeles, surrounded by 30,000 sq ft of garden and housed within the renovated Vickrey-Brunswig Building and Plaza House, LA Plaza invites visitors to both explore and contribute to the ongoing story of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles. In addition to its LA Starts Here! inaugural exhibition, Calle Principal, Main Street Los Angeles, 1920s hands-on learning installation, Voces Vivas and Centro Yo Soy media arts center, LA Plaza offers innovative educational programming for children, families, teachers, and school groups. LA Plaza’s exciting and unprecedented public programming will range from performances by local and cutting-edge musicians to screenings of classic Mexican cinema; from mouth-watering cooking demonstrations to the educational garden workshops; and from thought-provoking discussion series and book signings to illuminating family activities.

About the PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, the PepsiCo Foundation is the philanthropic anchor of PepsiCo, responsible for providing charitable contributions to eligible non-profit organizations. The Foundation is committed to developing sustainable partnerships and programs in underserved regions that provide opportunities for improved health, environment and education. For more information, visit: http://www.pepsico.com/Purpose/PepsiCo-Foundation.aspx.