Pearl Milling Company to award $1m in 2023 to nonprofits championing Black American women

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Pearl Milling Company is committed to uplifting Black women and girls across the US. Pic: GettyImages/Plume Creative
Pearl Milling Company is committed to uplifting Black women and girls across the US. Pic: GettyImages/Plume Creative

Related tags PepsiCo Frito-Lay Quaker oats company Pearl Milling Company Black empowerment women empowerment non-profit organisation

The Quaker Oats pancake mix and syrup brand is inviting eligible nonprofit organisations to apply for a chance to receive a grant of up to $100,000 to develop and grow meaningful programmes that make an impact within their communities.

P.E.A.R.L. Pledge is a multi-year community funding initiative that was launched in 2021 and has awarded more than 30 grants to date. This year, the fund will be awarding a total of $1 million in grants to help nonprofits making a P.E.A.R.L. impact.

The initiative was developed by as part of Pearl Milling Company’s commitment to uplift Black women and girls across the US – something the brand has been doing at the breakfast table for over 130 years – and PepsiCo’s broader Racial Equality Journey initiative.

“Helping our communities to not only address fundamental needs but also thrive goes hand in hand with Pearl Milling Company’s purpose of bringing families to the table,”​ said Kristin Kroepfl, VP and chief marketing officer at Quaker.

“Going into year three of P.E.A.R.L. Pledge, we’re excited to see the impact the grant recipients are making on the lives of Black women and girls, and we’re more energised than ever to keep moving our mission forward.”

The P.E.A.R.L. impact

Since its inception, more than 30 grants have been awarded to nonprofits creating opportunities for the Black community across the US, including Ajilla Foundation (creating young leaders),  Appetite For Change (increasing food access and security), Black Girl Film School (fostering careers in the TV, film and media industry), The Chrysalis Initiative (disrupting outcome disparities within breast cancer), Humanity 360 (supporting mental health) and Urban Growers Collective (addressing the inequalities in the food system by leveraging urban agriculture), among others.

The full list of P.E.A.R.L. Pledge 2021 and 2022 grant recipients​ is available here.

How to nominate and apply

Loudspeaker woman alone We Are
Individuals also have the opportunity to nominate an organisation. Pic: GettyImages

To apply, hopefuls must be categorised as  a nonprofit organisation with 501(c)(3) Public Charity status. They must also be based in the US – serving communities within the country – offering programmes that champion the success of Black women and girls.

The applicants must also be aligned with the initiative’s five key pillars:

  • Prosperity: creating an environment for all people to thrive.
  • Empowerment: building mental and physical health to attain holistic success.
  • Access: removing barriers to education & financial resources.
  • Representation: increasing Black involvement in specialist industries.
  • Leadership: nurturing emerging Black leaders.

Grant applications close at 6pm EST on 14 June 2023. Individuals also have until 7 June to nominate an organisation.

Grants will be awarded based on several factors, including how the chosen organisations will use the $100,000 funding.

Pearl Milling Company will be selecting this year’s grant recipients with the help of its P.E.A.R.L. Pledge Advisory Council, comprised of Jasmine Crowe-Houston, award-winning social entrepreneur, children’s book author and founder of Goodr; Eunique Jones Gibson, founder of Because of Them We Can, CEO of Culture Brands and The Happy Hues; and Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO and cofounder of Black Love Inc. The Advisory Council will also act as programme mentors by offering support and advice to 2023 grant recipients.

The grant recipients will be announced in the fall.

Pearl Milling Company – owned by The Quaker Oats Company, a unit of PepsiCo – has been helping families create memorable breakfast moments since 1888.

The company began as a small mill in St. Joseph, Missouri, producing flour, cornmeal and, beginning in 1889, the famous self-rising pancake mix (originally branded as Aunt Jemima), which today runs the variant gamut from Original, Buttermilk and Whole Wheat to Cap’n Crunch’s Berrytastic Pancake Mix.

The P.E.A.R.L. Pledge is aligned to PepsiCo’s pep+ strategy that puts human capital and sustainability at the centre of its operations. The Lay’s, Doritos and Cheetos maker’s extensive basket of products generated more than $86m in net revenue in 2022, enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world.

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more