Fueled by Donations From Industry Leaders, Project Potluck Looks to Double in Size in 2023

Once Upon a Farm, Chobani, and PepsiCo Ventures Group Among Donors Committed to Helping People of Color Build Successful Companies and Careers in Consumer Packaged Goods

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Project Potluck, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for People of Color (POC) to build successful companies and careers in consumer packaged goods (CPG), is starting 2023 with big plans for growth thanks to generous donations and support from industry leaders like Once Upon a Farm, Chobani, PepsiCo Ventures Group, and ForceBrands, to name a few. With this support, Project Potluck will look to connect almost 2x more members to mentors, host 5x as many events and grow to 1,500 members by the end of the year.

Project Potluck envisions a future where POC are represented on store shelves in the products they eat, drink, and use on their hair, skin, and body. To make this future a reality, Project Potluck is dedicated to growing careers and companies in CPG via programming that includes a speaker series, a mentorship program, a career coaching program, in-person and digital events, an online community portal and directory and more.

Project Potluck‘s mission has caught the attention of diversity, equity, and inclusion-minded companies and to date, the non-profit has received donations from companies including Once Upon a Farm, the next generation children’s company and makers of organic, crave-worthy snacks and meals for kids of all ages, who has gifted the largest donation to-date to help the organization’s efforts. Additional donors include Chobani, PepsiCo Ventures Group, Color Capital and Club CPG., New Hope Network, King Arthur Baking, DeeBee’s Organics, ForceBrands, Touch Capital and Startr Co.

“People of Color face systemic barriers to accessing social, human and financial capital,” said Once Upon a Farm CEO John Foraker. “Because of this, there is so much untapped potential and talent that has yet to be seen. Once Upon a Farm is so honored to partner with Project Potluck to help break down these barriers. By committing $100k to the organization over the next 5 years, we hope to pave the way and inspire other companies in the CPG space to continue to work towards a more equitable industry. The work Project Potluck is doing to change our industry for the better is imperative, and we see this as a cause that is worthy of everyone’s attention.”

“Today, 40% of the United States population identifies as a Person of Color, but they make up only 16% of leadership teams in Natural CPG,” said Project Potluck Executive Director, Kathleen Casanova. “We are looking to change this. With support from DEI-minded companies, Project Potluck is able to grow and continue to provide opportunities for POC to have a seat at the table and enrich the products and brands we all know and love.”

“As a member, I’ve witnessed how Project Potluck’s community and network of donors and mentors have helped build a more diverse industry,” said Sean Conner, Co-Founder of consumer brand recruitment firm, ForceBrands “They are just getting started so we are thrilled to support their efforts to make the future of CPG colorful.”

Project Potluck is accepting new members via their online portal and is currently gearing up to host their signature community event at the upcoming Natural Products Expo West.

What are you going to bring to the potluck? To join the Project Potluck community, become a sponsor, mentor or mentee, or for more information please visit www.potluckcpg.org or contact Kathleen at

About Project Potluck

Project Potluck is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on a mission to help People of Color (POC) build successful companies and careers in consumer packaged goods (CPG). Project Potluck was founded in 2020 by Ibraheem Basir, Founder and CEO of A Dozen Cousins, alongside Founding Board Members Ayeshah Abuelhiga, Founder and CEO of Mason Dixie Foods, and Arnulfo Ventura, CEO of Alter Eco. A first-of-its-kind organization, Project Potluck focuses on helping POC thrive by tackling the inherent bias in hiring, networking gaps, lack of access to capital for diverse founders and more. With a goal of implementing lasting change in the CPG industry, Project Potluck provides new opportunities for POC to network, learn, and grow from leaders and veterans in the space. To learn more about Project Potluck, please visit www.potluckcpg.org

Monica Guzman Escobar/ Jillian Wong 



SOURCE Project Potluck