Frito-Lay has announced a new partnership with LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC) to support a digital literacy program and improve the technological abilities of Latino families in eight U.S. markets this year. The program will create learning environments for parents and children of disadvantaged households through skills, resources, and tools needed for digital literacy.
According to a national survey conducted by Morning Consult and Frito-Lay, nearly half of Hispanic households include at least one member who is not digitally literate, defined as the ability to find, evaluate, and communicate information digitally/online. Additionally, about half of all Hispanics nationally say increased digital literacy and technology access would make life easier, and first-generation Hispanics in particular believe it would lead to better job opportunities.
More than 70% of those surveyed reported that the need for online technology has increased in the past two years and even more for first-generation Hispanics (89%). This underscores the importance of addressing such a critical issue as many Hispanic families have language and cultural barriers that present obstacles to understanding technology and how to use it to their advantage. According to the survey, three in four first-generation Hispanic adults say they are likely to participate in a free digital literacy education program.
“Frito-Lay is committed to supporting our Hispanic communities to lead better lives, and part of that is showing up where our communities need us most,” said Aminta Price, Regional Vice President Sales, Frito-Lay West Division, and Hispanic employee resource group (ADELANTE) national chair. “Every family should have the resources and opportunity to not only complete basic tasks in today’s digital world, but to use technology to help achieve success.”
The new program with LNESC represents an investment of nearly $250,000 and will benefit 240 families wanting to learn how to use laptops, video conferencing and online tools. It will also offer at-risk students from Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston, San Antonio, Topeka, District of Columbia, Atlanta and Vancouver (WA), and their families, an opportunity to participate in a 12-hour program. Beneficiaries will gain more experience in using technology and learn how to leverage new skills and resources to help students be more successful in school. The long-term impact of bilingual digital education will enable participants to access a multitude of information and resources to do schoolwork, financial aid searches, job training, job searches, ESL courses, online citizenship, résumé, college application and GED preparation along with other on-line tools to improve their employment status and future opportunities.
“As the coordinator for the P.U.E.N.T.E.S. program, I am excited to bring this much needed service to support families. It is vital to provide workshops on digital literacy to low-income, immigrant, Spanish-speaking communities because they are often left behind to learn skills that are essential to thrive in today’s society,” said Andrea Zamora, Interim Director at LNESC Oxnard. “We work to bridge the gap on this divide and uplift families to incorporate online resources to not only support themselves but also their student’s educational journey. We are extremely grateful to partner with Frito-Lay whose values of helping the communities they call home align so strongly with our own.”
While honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, this program complements PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey (REJ) Hispanic Initiative, a $172 million set of commitments to increase representation within its workforce, support Hispanic-owned businesses, and help create economic opportunities in Hispanic American communities. This REJ initiative reinforces Frito-Lay’s long-standing commitment and history of helping local communities across America for more than 90 years.
“I would recommend this to everyone- the teachers were very patient with me as I am a slow learner. I learned a lot! I am trying to get my daughter to come and bring her children to learn more of this, as this is what we need to function in this world today”, said Cecil Dozier, LNESC digital literacy beneficiary in Topeka, Kansas.