CHICAGO, May 13, 2021 –Pearl Milling Company, maker of the 132-year-old pancake mix and syrup products previously found under the Aunt Jemima name, today announced its community funding initiative as part of the brand’s commitment to support the Black community. P.E.A.R.L. Pledge is a multi-year program focused on championing the empowerment and success of Black women and girls across the country. In its inaugural year, the brand will award $1 million in grants to nonprofit organizations helping to fulfill this mission.
As part of its rebranding journey, Pearl Milling Company set out to fulfill two promises: to continue delivering the same great-tasting products families have enjoyed for over a century and to inspire moments that matter around the breakfast table and in communities. With a commitment to community impact, the brand developed P.E.A.R.L. Pledge (Prosperity, Empowerment, Access, Representation and Leadership) as a platform to help address societal barriers faced by Black women and girls.
Recognizing the importance of Black women in the brand’s history, P.E.A.R.L. Pledge will focus on providing funding to organizations helping to meet the significant needs facing Black women and girls today, such as gaps in food security and inadequate access to financial and educational resources.
How to Nominate and Apply
In addition to opening applications for eligible nonprofits, Pearl Milling Company is encouraging people to nominate organizations for grants that will range from $25,000 to $100,000. These grants will be awarded based on several factors, including how the chosen organizations will use the funding. Both nominations and applications can be submitted at www.pearlmillingcompany.com/pearlpledge; nominations will close by 11:59 p.m. PST on May 27 and applications will close by 11:59 p.m. PST on June 3.
To help select the grant winners, Pearl Milling Company will work with an Advisory Council comprised of diverse external partners knowledgeable about the needs in the Black community and who have personally worked to drive change, as well as diverse internal team members at PepsiCo. Grant recipients will be announced on the brand’s website this summer.
Addressing issues of inequality and creating opportunities for Black people ladders up to a broader commitment for Pearl Milling Company’s parent company PepsiCo. In 2020, PepsiCo announced it will invest more than $400 million over five years focused on increasing Black representation at PepsiCo, supporting Black-owned businesses, and lifting up Black communities in the U.S. As an extension of PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey efforts, P.E.A.R.L. Pledge adds to PepsiCo’s community investment, which together with The PepsiCo Foundation, includes providing $6.5 million in community impact grants, $10 million to support Black-owned restaurants and $5 million to launch a Leader Development Fellowship Program.