The Community-First Program is Partnering with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and Force Blue for Small Business and Environmental Initiatives
Pepsi has announced new giveback initiatives it is rolling out in Super Bowl LV host city Tampa, and across Florida, as part of its Pepsi Stronger Together platform – a tailored grassroots-based program giving back to communities across the nation.
“When we launched Pepsi Stronger Together, we aimed to give back to communities around the country while inspiring people in those communities to take action,” said Derek Lewis, President, South Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America. “We have seen an incredible response in cities from Miami to Memphis, Louisville to Washington, D.C. – from a charitable food drive, a community basketball court refurbishment, to mentorship programs with local universities – and we are thrilled to be able to give back to the Tampa Bay community during a time of such cultural importance, the Super Bowl.”
Beginning now and continuing through Super Bowl LV, Pepsi will partner with community leaders, customers and organizations to deploy initiatives centered around key pillars of Pepsi Stronger Together: community and the environment.
In Tampa, Pepsi Stronger Together is partnering with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) to donate $100,000 in grants and support to help struggling bay-area restaurants. Through the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA), Pepsi and the NRAEF will award $10,000 grants to Tampa restaurants – recipients of which will be announced live during Shaquille O’Neal’s “Shaq Bowl” restaurant challenge on Super Bowl Sunday. Qualifying restaurants will also be offered membership in the FRLA and National Restaurant Association.
“We are honored to work with Pepsi and FRLA to support these Tampa area restaurants and their employees,” said Rob Gifford, president, NRAEF. “They have faced tremendous challenges due to the pandemic and were hoping the Super Bowl would be a way to make up for lost business. With Pepsi, one of the Foundation’s largest donors, we are working together to help them get back on their feet.” Super Bowl fans across the country can help restaurant workers rebuild their futures by donating to the NRAEF at www.chooserestaurants.org/strongertogether.
Pepsi Stronger Together will also support the timely issue of coral reef and marine habitat conservation with nonprofit Force Blue by hosting Dive55, a beach and ocean clean-up day in Anna Maria, Florida on January 25. Running in conjunction with NFL Green Week, Dive55 will feature Force Blue Special Operations veterans leading 55 volunteer divers from multiple local organizations in an operation to remove marine debris and abandoned fishing gear from Spanish Rocks Reef, a rare gem of marine life that includes sponges, soft corals and a variety of reef fish.
“Force Blue is proud to be able to work with the NFL, Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee and Pepsi leading up to Super Bowl LV to bring attention to, and take action for, one of the biggest problems our oceans face today – the rapidly declining health of our coral reefs and coastal habitats,” said Jim Ritterhoff, Force Blue’s Executive Director and Co-Founder.
As an added surprise and delight for fans across Tampa, Pepsi drones will be dropping in to select lucky fans’ homes with VIP swag and merch – helping make their homegating experience an unforgettable one. Learn more at pepsistrongertogether.com/gamedays.
About Pepsi Stronger Together
Pepsi Stronger Together is a national initiative to empower and engage communities around the country by providing tailored programming and resources that bring people together. It was conceived with the idea that now, more than ever, we must foster a sense of connection and belonging, starting by investing locally. Launched in May of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – engaging its network of partners in the South to shine a spotlight on essential front-line workers in a variety of industries – Pepsi Stronger Together was expanded in October of 2020 by partnering with NBA teams and charitable organizations to foster, among other things, community and police relations.
Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. Under this vision, Pepsi Stronger Together is continually evolving the program to respond to the cultural moment and meet the needs of communities across the United States. Stay up to date at pepsistrongertogether.com, where visitors can engage in conversation and learn about the latest community initiatives and how to give back. Follow the conversation on social media at @pepsistrongertogether.