Campbell Soup Co. is making a $500,000 donation to The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, which recently broke ground in the Cramer Hill section of Camden, N.J. Surrounded by community leaders and elected officials, including Sen. Donald Norcross and The Salvation Army Kroc Center Administrator Maj. Paul Cain, Campbell’s President and CEO Denise Morrison made the announcement today at a press conference held on the 24-acre site.
The $500,000 donation will build the Campbell Healthy Community Kitchen within the Kroc Center, which is expected to serve thousands of daily meals and snacks to 350,000 visitors annually. Young people in the Early Childhood Education Center, after school programs and youth organizations also will eat meals served from the kitchen. The Campbell Healthy Community Kitchen also will house an education area, where the donation will help support nutrition, cooking and various food education programs.
“Giving back to the communities where we live and work is part of Campbell’s DNA,” said Morrison. “The new Campbell Healthy Community Kitchen is a perfect way for us to nourish our neighbors and help promote healthy eating and lifestyles. We are proud to partner with the Camden Kroc Center, an important facility that will provide our city’s residents with much-needed recreational, health and educational services.”
“We are extremely grateful for this generous contribution from Campbell,” said Cain. “Campbell has been in Camden for over 140 years and has clearly been committed to the revitalization of the city. We are pleased Campbell chose the Kroc Center as a place to showcase its continued support to the people of Camden and to spread the word about good nutrition and healthy food choices.”
Construction on the $90 million Kroc Center began last week. The 120,000-s.f. facility will create 160 new jobs and is scheduled to open in 2014. The Kroc Center features family and fitness services, an eight-lane competition pool and water park, a chapel, a black box theater and a dance studio. It also features indoor and outdoor basketball courts and ball fields.
“This facility will give families in Camden a place to call home, complete with safe recreational activities,” said Camden Mayor Dana Redd. “We are extremely grateful to Campbell Soup Co. for making another commitment to Camden and its residents.”
The Kroc Center in Camden is one of 27 community centers in underserved neighborhoods nationwide. In 2004, The Salvation Army USA announced that it would receive nearly $1.6 billion from the estate of Mrs. Joan Kroc. Inspired by a center she created with The Salvation Army in San Diego, her gift would act as a lead grant to construct and partially endow the other centers. Kroc wanted each center to be a “beacon of hope and an agent of change,” providing opportunities for people of all ages to build a better life.
In the featured photo at top: Campbell Soup Co. President and CEO Denise Morrison presents a check for $500,000 to Joe Ventresca, Kroc Center capital campaign chairman; Major Alma Cain, Kroc Center associate administrator; Maj. Paul Cain, Kroc Center administrator and Maj. Donald E. Berry, New Jersey state commander for the The Salvation Army to fund the Campbell Healthy Community Kitchen and support nutrition education programming at the new Kroc Community Center in Camden.