Nearly 24 million Americans live in food deserts and don't have access to affordable, quality, fresh fruits and vegetables. For the third year, fresh juice brand Naked Juice, a division of PepsiCo, is partnering with Wholesome Wave — an organization that helps create affordable access to fresh, local and regional food to those in need — to provide fresh produce where there is none.
Through the Drink Good. Do Good. campaign, Naked Juice has committed to donate up to 500,000 pounds’ worth of fruits and vegetables to Wholesome Wave. New this year, Naked Juice is making it simple for people across the country to join the effort: Just take a photo of yourself holding a fruit or vegetable, tag a friend and include #DrinkGoodDoGood, and Naked Juice will donate the equivalent of 10 pounds of produce* to neighbors in need.
"As we continue our commitment to Wholesome Wave, we wanted to give people a way that they can personally get involved and take action," said Andrea Theodore, head of marketing and innovation at Naked Juice. "Through this social media campaign, we hope people feel empowered to show their commitment, contribute to Wholesome Wave and engage in conversations about food deserts in their own communities."
Naked Juice and Wholesome Wave are also teaming up with local ambassadors across the country to help shine a light on the issue of food deserts. Among the ambassadors joining the effort are actor and philanthropist Adrian Grenier, Wholesome Wave board member and D.C.-based chef Jose Andres; Chicago-born actor, musician and philanthropist Common; and Los Angeles chef Michael Voltaggio.
Some of the nation's largest cities are affected by this issue, and the Drink Good. Do Good. campaign is not only donating but also raising awareness among local residents about what is happening right in their backyards. For example, in a 30-square-mile area of South L.A., there are only 60 grocery stores — that's only one store for every 22,000 residents. Chicago's food desert population is estimated to be 384,000 — that's enough to fill Lincoln Park 17 times. Nearly 300,000 people in Washington D.C. live in food deserts, enough to stretch from the Capitol steps to the Lincoln Memorial almost 60 times. In the video below, Grenier hears a young NYC mother describe her difficulty finding fresh, quality produce in her neighborhood:
Visit DrinkGoodDoGood.com to learn more about the issue of food deserts, see more videos featuring Grenier and Nischan, and find other ways to support the cause.
*The monetary equivalent of fruits and vegetables will be donated. Maximum donation of $500,000.