Fierce

Jennifer Lopez Partners With Yoplait to Help Food Banks Says “It’s An Obligation” After Experiencing Food Insecurity As A Child

Former fly-girl, Jennifer Lopez, has teamed up with Yoplait to unveil its Lids to Feed America Program. This program supports Feeding America food banks and provides funding for communities and families in need of nutritious foods.

Dairy is one of the highest requested foods at food banks and yet remains the least donated food items across America. An 8-ounce glass of milk contains nine necessary nutrients and eight grams of protein essential for children and their growth. But the COVID-19 crisis has limited access to food, especially for growing children.

Before the pandemic, more than 35 million Americans including 11 million children experienced food insecurity. Now, this figure has almost doubled from 10.5% to 23% since the rise of the coronavirus. This means that 1 in 4 households have experienced food insecurity this year brought on by the pandemic and its subsequent rise in unemployment numbers.

This crisis hits close to home for Jennifer Lopez.

“I grew up in those neighborhoods and I know what it’s like when things get tough. You know back in the day, we used to have like the government cheese and stuff like that. Like I was part of all of those programs that they had for people who were hurting. My dad was out of work or my mom was out of work and we were struggling a bit. So these programs are so important and I have lived it firsthand,” Jenny from the Block tells FIERCE.

Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and food insecurity crisis. Nationwide, 18 of the 28 counties with the largest Native American population were projected to be in the top 10% of food insecurity rates due to COVID-19. Latinx and Black households are two times more likely to be vulnerable to food insecurity than white families. Black families are affected by food insecurity at 27.1%, and Latinx families are 27% more likely to suffer from access to food, while this affects white families at 13.5% during this pandemic.

Now with this new Yoplait campaign, J.Lo hopes she can give back, especially to some of these same communities she came from.

“I’ve never made it a secret that I grew up in the Bronx and how I grew up,” the On The 6 singer tells FIERCE. “It’s super important to help in different ways and in the different programs like this, that really target minority neighborhoods and people who lived in the way that I did when I grew up.” adds J.Lo.

Additionally, it’s no secret how much of a talented dancer J.Lo is. She’s using her experience with fitness to encourage her healthy habits in this Yoplait program for families nationwide.

“For me, dance is such a big part of my life and during the quarantine, I think like most moms,” says the mother of 12-year-old twins, Max and Emme.

“I was worried that these kids were just spending all their time on their electronics,” J.Lo tells FIERCE.

To get people moving, J.Lo decided to do a campaign with Yoplait called Yoplaitime where she encourages families to submit a video of them dancing to her hit song with Maluma “Pa Ti.” For every video with the hashtag #YoplaitimeDonation, Yoplait donates a dollar up to $300,000 to Feeding America.

“The dance challenges are, are so much fun and moms loved doing them with their kids. And it was just about getting them outside to play. And I just loved that idea because I feel like that’s a lost art. Like that’s how I grew up. I was out in the street playing all the time and, and kids just don’t get outside anymore. And it’s, it’s so important.” says J.Lo.

Not only is she encouraging families to dance and give back, but this message first and foremost starts in her own house with her own children.

“I’m so aware that my kids are growing up so different than I did. Like they have no idea. And I always tell them, it’s our job, that we are in a position of privilege to help others.

And it is not just something we do out of kindness. It is an obligation. It is a responsibility of you and me, of everyone who has a little bit more to help people because I was that person growing up. And whenever anybody helped me it made such a difference in my life. And so I definitely have made that a big part of what I teach them just as human beings to be better human beings-to be good human beings. I always tell them, you know, I want you to do good in school, but it’s better to me that you’re a good person.”

J.Lo gives the rundown on how Yoplait Lids is helping make a difference during this COVID-19 crisis.

“They donate 70 million meals. They have 1.4 million into meal connect, and it’s easy to be a part of it. What they’re doing is encouraging people. If you just purchase your favorite Yoplait products with specially marked packaging or the one with the gold lid, once you’re home, you can just scan and submit your receipt to the Yoplaitlids.com and enter your zip code. And for every eligible product submission, Yoplait will donate 10 cents to feeding America up for a total of up to $600,000.”

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