The number of Americans with limited access to fruits and vegetables has climbed to nearly 30 million. In other words, the ‘food desert’ crisis affects roughly one in every ten people in the United States. To combat this problem and support communities in need, Naked Juice has again teamed up with national food non-profit Wholesome Wave and celebrities including actor and filmmaker Adrian Grenier and artist, actor and activist Common for its Drink Good Do Good campaign.
People are invited to share a selfie with a fruit and veggie and use the hashtag #DrinkGoodDoGood. For each of these selfies shared on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Naked Juice is donating (the monetary equivalent of) 10 pounds of fresh produce.
“Where I grew up in Chicago, affordable, quality food was hard to come by,” said Common, who is both an Academy Award and Grammy Award winner. “I want to see good, healthy fruits and vegetables in areas that don't have them. And by simply taking a selfie, we are one step closer.”
Naked Juice, which is a division of PepsiCo, first launched the campaign last year. It kicked off the 2016 iteration with a donation to Wholesome Wave that will provide 250,000 pounds of fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables to people in need. Every fruit and veggie selfie will build on this donation, to a maximum of $500,000. The campaign will run through September.
The engagement aspect of the campaign is in part to raise awareness of the food desert crisis. According to a survey* commissioned by Naked Juice, some 60 percent of Americans do not believe that food deserts exist in their own communities.
“Our vision is a country where everyone has access to affordable, quality, fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Andrea Theodore, general manager at Naked Juice. “Food deserts are a real issue that affect so many, but are realized by so few. So, we've teamed up with a group of likeminded ambassadors to help encourage others to get behind this cause through the campaign's simple call to action.”
Grenier and Common are just two of the many ambassadors supporting the campaign. The 2016 lineup also includes chef and restauranteur Bobby Flay; Wholesome Wave board member, chef and Crafted Hospitality owner Tom Colicchio, who has been an active advocate of food waste reduction; his fellow Wholesome Wave board members, chefs and restaurateurs Tyler Florence and José Andrés; chef and restauranteur Michelle Bernstein; chef Jeremy Ford; producer and director Ryan Lewis; environmentalist and filmmaker Philippe Cousteau, Jr.; and actor and culinary school graduate Minka Kelly.
Grenier participated in a 4-part video series discussing the challenges of finding fresh produce and living a healthy lifestyle in a food desert with stakeholders in the Bronx, New York. Other ambassadors are simply promoting the campaign on their social media channels.
“I love fruits and vegetables. Not only are they vibrant, delicious and nutritious ingredients for a great dish, they are also a powerful ingredient for a healthy, successful and bright future,” Flay said. “And the fact that one out of every 10 people in this country don't have access to affordable, healthy produce is unacceptable. I'm proud to join Naked Juice to bring attention to and help fight food deserts.”