Campbell Soup, Food Bank Launch ‘Just Peachy’ Salsa For Hunger Relief
Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Co. and the Food Bank of South Jersey have launched Just Peachy, a s salsa made from New Jersey peaches. The new product is expected to raise more than $100,000 and deliver a sustainable revenue stream for the Food Bank of South Jersey’s hunger relief programs.
Campbell’s culinary and product development teams created the recipe for the salsa, which uses some of the 850,000 pounds of blemished peaches grown by farmers in the Eastern ProPak Farmers’ Cooperative of Gloucester County, N.J. Because of their size and blemishes, these peaches cannot be sold and would ordinarily be discarded in landfills. Campbell is donating product costs and has engaged hundreds of employee volunteers to make and package the salsa.
“This is great example of how companies can truly make a difference in their communities by applying their expertise and the skills of their employees,” said Dave Stangis, VP of public affairs and corporate responsibility. “We are pleased to be a part of this unique program that benefits our planet, employees, consumers and neighbors, as well as our long-time community partner—the Food Bank of South Jersey.”
The idea for this unique program started more than a year ago and brings together the local agriculture community, the Food Bank of South Jersey and Campbell. By converting one of South Jersey’s best crops to a shelf-stable product, this program will save farmers landfill costs and provide the Food Bank with a future model for sustainable revenue. New Jersey produces more than 163 million peaches annually, making it the fourth largest producer of peach crops behind Georgia, South Carolina and California.
“This is truly a triple bottom line project. It’s a win for local farmers, a win for the community and a win for the Food Bank of South Jersey,” said Val Traore, CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey. “The revenue generated from this program will help fund our nine area hunger relief programs and support the growing food insecure population in South Jersey, which is currently at more than 171,000 people, including 57,000 children.”
Anthony Yula of Summit City Farms in Glassboro, N.J., a 500-acre peach and nectarine farm, calls the destruction of the peaches “the saddest thing for us to see.” Owned and founded by the DeEugenio family, the farm produces about 4.3 million pounds of peaches each year.
“This project is fantastic for growers,” said Yula. “What farmers most want is for our produce to be enjoyed.”
The recipe for Just Peachy salsa uses nearly half a pound of fresh peaches per jar and also includes crushed tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, cilantro and garlic.
Just Peachy salsa production began in Camden on July 24. More than 52,000 jars of salsa will be prepared over six production days.
For information on where to purchase Just Peachy salsa, go to www.foodbanksj.org or call 856-662-4884.
Campbell suppliers Morton Salt, Sun Brite, Nature’s Quality, Mizkan Americas Inc. and The Garlic Co. donated ingredients. Owens Illinois, International Paper, Silgan and Rock Tenn donated packaging materials.