FACT CHECK: Did PepsiCo Give $100 Million To Black Lives Matter?
A viral Facebook post shared over 30,000 times claims PepsiCo recently gave $100 million to Black Lives Matter.
A spokesperson for the Pepsi brand said it “did not contribute” to the Black Lives Matter organization. PepsiCo’s announcement of over $400 million to “lift up Black communities and Black representation at PepsiCo” does not mention donating to Black Lives Matter.
The post urges other Facebook users to boycott PepsiCo, which owns a variety of food and drink brands, for allegedly donating $100 million to Black Lives Matter. The Black Lives Matter movement rekindled after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in Minneapolis police custody in late May, according to CNN.
While the PepsiCo subsidiary Gatorade did announce on June 3 that it would be donating $500,000 to four organizations, including Black Lives Matter, PepsiCo does not appear to have done so. PepsiCo’s statement announcing it will commit over $400 million over five years to “lift up Black communities and Black representation at PepsiCo” does not mention donating to the organization.
Here are the funds PepsiCo committed in its announcement:
- $25 million to “establish scholarship support for students transitioning from 2-year to 4-year programs,” as well as to support “trade/certificate and academic 2-year degrees through community colleges” for black students
- $350 million to increase its spending with Black-owned suppliers
- $50 million to “strengthen Black-owned small businesses” (including $10 million to “support Black-owned restaurants”)
- $6.5 million to “address systemic issues” through community impact grants
- $5 million to “launch a Community Leader Fellowship program” for black nonprofit CEOs
PepsiCo further announced in the statement that it would expand its Food for Good initiative, increase its contributions to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and increase its current black manager population by 30 percent, among other things. (RELATED: Do Donations Made Through A Link On The Black Lives Matter Website Go Directly To Democratic Candidates?)
While it’s possible that some of the funds PepsiCo pledged toward community impact grants and the fellowship program could go to Black Lives Matter, those contributions would not add up to $100 million. Alix Ekstrom, director of brand communications for Pepsi, told Check Your Fact in an email, “The Pepsi brand did not contribute to this organization.”
The claim may have stemmed from a July 16 segment with Lou Dobbs on Fox Business, where he stated that businesses such as PepsiCo and Bank of America were donating money to Black Lives Matter. Dobbs later issued a correction both during his broadcast and on Twitter.