Feeding the Hungry is Just Peachy

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Feeding the Hungry is Just Peachy

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Feeding the Hungry is Just Peachy, a blog by @Amanda_Bauman http://3bl.me/af47f3
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 8:15pm

CAMPAIGN: Just Peachy


By: Amanda Bauman, Manager – Community Affairs, Campbell Soup Company

Each year during peach season, Glassboro, NJ, farmer Anthony Yula’s 90 year-old grandfather stares into a dumpster full of peaches, grumbles and says, “These peaches are perfectly fine – so why aren’t they going anywhere?”

The question is a good one.  New Jersey produces more than 163 million peaches annually, making it the fourth largest producer of peach crops behind Georgia, South Carolina and California.  Unbeknownst to many, however, is that a portion of these peaches wind up in the landfill instead of in grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

To put it in perspective, one Southern NJ farmer’s cooperative, Eastern Propak, dumps nearly 850,000 pounds of imperfect peaches each year at a cost of approximately $80,000.  These peaches are perfectly edible, but are slightly blemished or are too small to sell.

At the same time, there are more than 171,000 residents in Southern NJ that are food insecure, approximately 13% of the population.   The Food Bank of South Jersey, our region’s emergency food provider, is struggling to keep up with the growing demand.

Does anyone else see a problem here?

Well, the Food Bank of South Jersey did and that is when they approached Campbell Soup Company with a crazy idea.

What don’t we work together to make a peach salsa?  So, we did.

Today marks the launch of Just Peachy, a shelf-stable peach salsa utilizing excess NJ peaches that would otherwise be discarded.  This salsa will be sold via the Food Bank’s website and soon at local retailers.  All proceeds will fund the Food Bank of South Jersey’s nine hunger relief programs.  Campbell Soup Company donated the recipe and manufacturing and engaged nine suppliers in donating ingredients and packaging, allowing for optimal benefit to the Food Bank of South Jersey.

The project brings together three key players, Campbell Soup Company, the Food Bank of South Jersey and the NJ agricultural community, with a common goal to develop innovative solutions to the hunger crisis in our local community.

Now, a peach salsa was not just born overnight.  It took the hard work and dedication of a small cross-functional team of employee volunteers.  These individuals worked through obstacles, created a recipe and developed a manufacturing plan, each leveraging their individual skills cultivated in the workplace.  Moreover, more than 100 employee volunteers are working to hand-label each of the 52,000 jars that will be produced.

So how does Anthony Yula and his grandfather feel about that?

“Amazing - the destruction of peaches is one of the saddest things for us to see.  What farmers want most is for our produce to be enjoyed,” Anthony said.

And now, they will.  At the same time, they will support the growing food insecure population in Southern NJ. 

Now that is what I call, M’m, M’m, Good.

To purchase Just Peachy salsa, visit www.foodbanksj.org

Keywords: Volunteerism & Community Engagement | Campbell Soup Co | Food Bank South Jersey | Hunger | Just Peachy | community | csr | hunger relief

CAMPAIGN: Just Peachy