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ISLAMABAD: As part of its 'Millions of Meals' campaign, PepsiCo Pakistan has so far distributed over 13 million meals in eight months as part of its ongoing Covid-19 disaster relief efforts. According to the details shared by the company here on Friday, since March, the 'Millions of Meals' campaign has covered 90 percent districts in Pakistan with a 100 percent coverage in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the program is still on striving to benefit as many communities as possible.

'Millions of Meals' is an inclusive, nationwide disaster relief program making millions of meals available to the communities most impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

PepsiCo has also partnered with the Prime Minister's Ehsaas Program to ensure access to the most vulnerable communities in urgent need of nutrition. At the heart of the program are the nine on-ground partners and a network of over 600 volunteers working at the grass root level across Pakistan. These include; RIZQ and Association for Gender Awareness & Human Empowerment (AGAHE) in Punjab, Peoples Primary Health Initiative (PPHI) in Balochistan, The Orange Tree Foundation, Network of Organisations Working for People with Disabilities Pakistan (NOWPDP) and Layton Rahmatullah Benevolent Trust (LRBT) in Sindh, National Rural Support Program (NRSP) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Al-Khidmat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In an ode to the 'Millions of Meals' partners, volunteers and the countless men and women at the front line of the pandemic, brand Pepsi has released a heart touching song 'Mujhe Bhoolnay Na Dena'. Veteran singer Sajjad Ali and Aima Baig have lent their soulful vocals to the moving lyrics. The song inspires us to be kind and thoughtful and is a timely reminder of our inherent sense of generosity and charity as a nation.

With the second wave of Covid-19 on the horizon, it is a lesson of resilience and community that we must take forward in the coming months. These lessons will serve us well in being mindful about the needs of others around us, for only when we come together as a nation will the challenge be surmountable.

As economic activity decelerated during the Covid-19 epidemic and an increasing number of people were faced with loss of income and earning opportunities. In these circumstances, the need for providing meals to underprivileged communities became the foremost requirement. PepsiCo Pakistan announced the launch of 'Millions of Meals' program at the onset of the crisis, and with the support of The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, committed funding of over US$1.4 million to provide meals to those in urgent need of sustenance.

While commenting on the initiative of PepsiCo, Omer Mateen Allahwala, CEO Orange Tree Foundation Friday said, "We thank PepsiCo for paying special attention to the most underserved communities. Especially the fishermen communities in Babba and Bhit Islands, transgender communities and religious minorities in Karachi as these are often overlooked in the time of crisis."

Speaking about the program Furqan Ahmed Syed, CEO PepsiCo Pakistan and Afghanistan commented, "The 'Millions of Meals' is a mission rooted in our 'With Purpose' philosophy, which means that we pledge to support the well-being of communities that we operate in. As we set out to provide free meals to people during the most challenging Covid-19 times, we placed strong emphasis on reaching out to less accessible and marginalised communities."

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020