USA – Amidst the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, PepsiCo has reinforced its strategies to ensure business continuity while contributing to mitigation efforts aimed at curbing the spread an impact of the disease in the US.

The food and beverage giant has announced that it will hire 6,000 new employes, provide enhanced benefits to its US employees and further avail US$11 million in funding to provide critical support to infected communities.

In the US, PepsiCo said that it will provide enhanced benefits to all US-based employees and additional compensation to US frontline employees – which will cover more than 90,000 frontline employees at both PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) and PepsiCo Foods North America (PFNA).

These will include a US$100 minimum weekly increment for full-time employees over the next month, full pay for quarantined employees, free COVID-19 testing, and a “Crisis Care” reimbursement of US$100 a day for child care, and access to specially trained mental health professionals.

“With COVID-19 reshaping the way we run our business and live our lives, it’s important that we acknowledge the people keeping us steady during turbulent times, notably the heroic work of the millions of doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals around the world,” said Ramon Laguarta, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo.

“At the same time, there is important work being done in other sectors, including our own, to help maintain the supply of foods and beverages. We couldn’t be prouder of our PepsiCo team for the role they play in restocking pantries and refrigerators.”

However, Steven Williams, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Foods North America noted that providing some of the company’s product such as Frito-Lay and Quaker has been challenging in the recent past.

As such, PepsiCo is planning to hire 6,000 new full-time, full-benefit frontline employees across the US in the coming months.

“At this unprecedented time, which is having a profound impact on all of us, we are so grateful to our frontline employees for all they are doing to ensure our products are available for families across the country,” said Kirk Tanner, CEO of PepsiCo Beverages North America.

“We know our products on store shelves provide a sense of stability and normalcy to consumers during trying times. This is our way to recognize the critical role our frontline plays in our organization, now and always.”

PepsiCo’s philanthropic arm, the PepsiCo Foundation, is also mobilizing its resources to invest up to US$11 million to provide food, water and other critical support to communities affected by COVID-19 around the world. 

In the U.S., PepsiCo is partnering with the USDA and the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty to deliver 1 million food boxes to students in rural America, including a US$1 million commitment.

Globally, the company said that it is donating US$200,000 to each Red Cross in Italy, Spain, France and US$100,000 to the Red Cross in Lebanon.

PepsiCo is also investing US$1.5 million with the Global FoodBanking Network to provide water and nutrition solutions to 12 countries affected by COVID-19 in Latin America. 

In China, the company said that it provided US$1.1 million to Hubei Red Cross Foundation and China Women’s Development Foundation to provide protective gear and help frontline responders’ and physicians’ efforts in the fight against the spread of coronavirus in severely affected areas of China.