The Chicago-based YMCA of the USA and PepsiCo have announced a five-year alliance through which the company will provide $11.6 million to sponsor the organization's public health initiative, YMCA Activate America.
In support of YMCA Healthy Kids Day — a key component of the initiative — PepsiCo's Tropicana division will continue its sponsorship of the annual grassroots community event, which celebrates healthy living, encourages kids and families to get excited about physical fun and activity, and engages youth in play to be healthy. This year, Healthy Kids Day takes places on April 8, with at least five hundred thousand participants expected to attend events at more than fourteen hundred YMCAs.
In addition, PepsiCo will sponsor an effort by YMCA Activate America and the America On the Move Foundation to develop a community walking program and include an annual day of action in which Americans pledge to take two thousand more steps (about a mile) each day, while reducing their daily caloric intake by two hundred calories. The company also will provide $1 million annually in competitive grants to local YMCAs launching or expanding health and wellness initiative in their communities.
"To reverse our country's growing obesity, chronic disease, and healthcare crisis, Americans need to become more physically active and improve their nutrition," said Sam Evans, acting chief of staff for YMCA of the USA. "With more than twenty million registered members and program participants, and through our national leadership of child care and after-school programs, YMCAs can play a significant role in encouraging Americans to live healthier lives....With PepsiCo's evolving and expanding pro-health corporate strategy, it was natural for the YMCA and PepsiCo to deepen their alliance around healthy living through YMCA Activate America."