PLANO, Texas - SunChips, Frito-Lay’s popular line of multigrain snacks, is stepping up to help rebuild the city of Greensburg, Kansas, which was tragically struck by a devastating tornado that destroyed nearly all of the community. In conjunction with Discovery Communications’ new 24-hour eco-lifestyle and entertainment channel Planet Green, debuting on June 4th, the SunChips brand hosted a ceremony on the one-year anniversary of the tornado in Greensburg to mark the groundbreaking for the SunChips Business Incubator. The incubator will house 10 local businesses and provide the economic infrastructure to support the return of Greensburg residents. During the special ceremony in Greensburg on May 2nd, SunChips announced it would donate $1 million to help build the business incubator that is expected to open before the end of the year.
"Breaking ground on the SunChips Business Incubator is a huge milestone in Greenburg's rebuilding process," said Steve Hewitt, City Manager for Greensburg. "This building represents Main Street all under one self-contained roof. You can't overestimate the importance of what the business incubator will mean to this community and we are tremendously grateful for the SunChips brand and Frito-Lay stepping forward to make this commitment."
A grant from the United States Department of Agriculture is also helping to bring back the community. Planet Green captured the milestone moment as part of “Greensburg,” a 13-part television series that will document the town and its residents’ rebirth into a sustainable community. “Greensburg,” which is executive produced by actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions and Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Films & Television, will begin airing on June 15 on Planet Green. Additional original programming on Greensburg, Kansas will air on Discovery Channel, Science Channel and TLC.
In line with Planet Green’s effort to tell the story of how Greensburg is being rebuilt as an eco-friendly town, and the SunChips brand’s ongoing commitment to green, renewable energy, the business incubator will be solar-powered. In addition to supporting the local businesses, the SunChips brand will rebuild the homes of two of its own associates, which were devastated in the tornado last year.
“We’re proud to be a part of Greensburg’s revival,” said Gannon Jones, vice president, marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “By harnessing solar energy to power the much-needed business incubator, we’re helping residents, including some from our own Frito-Lay family, to rebuild their community as a sustainable model of eco-living, and continuing our commitment to support green, renewable energy. The SunChips brand is about taking small steps toward a better planet, and this is one small step that we know will make a big difference.”
On Earth Day this year, the SunChips brand celebrated another major milestone by inaugurating a solar concentrator field at one of Frito-Lay’s manufacturing facilities that makes SunChips snacks. The facility, in Modesto, California, now uses the sun to help make “solar powered” SunChips (and other Frito-Lay snack chips). California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Energy Commission Vice Chair James Boyd and Modesto Mayor Jim Ridenour were in attendance for the special event.
In addition to supporting solar energy, renewable energy certificates (RECs) have been purchased to match 100 percent of the electricity needed to produce SunChips snacks in the U.S. As a result, SunChips packaging includes the Center for Resource Solutions' Green-e symbol to identify SunChips as a supporter of green energy through the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs).
Frito-Lay North America is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. Since 1999, Frito-Lay has implemented resource conservation programs that utilize innovative programs to reduce the resources needed to make its products. Commitment to sustainable growth is a core Frito-Lay value, as it is for parent company, PepsiCo, which aims to achieve Performance with Purpose.
SunChips multigrain snacks, originally introduced in 1991, contain whole grains, 0 grams of trans fats, and are made with Sunflower Oil. SunChips, available in Original, Harvest Cheddar, French Onion and Garden Salsa flavors, provide 18 grams of whole grains per one ounce serving from a blend of corn, oats and wheat. The Modesto, Calif. plant is one of seven Frito-Lay plants across the country that makes SunChips snacks.
Frito-Lay North America is the $11 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana.