Mutual of America
  2014 Community Partnership Award
  Merit Finalist
  Just Peachy Salsa: Feeding Communities, Helping Farmers

The United States is known as the “land of plenty.” However, for more than 17 million Americans who regularly run out of food or simply don’t know where they will find their next meal, the cupboard is often bare. These are hard-working adults, children and seniors who can’t always make ends meet and may be forced to go without food.

Since its inception in 1985, the Food Bank of South Jersey has been tackling this issue and has distributed more than 200 million pounds of food and offered nutrition education programs to seniors and working-poor families living in South Jersey’s most impoverished communities. In 2012, they deepened their impact by launching a novel program that turns the excess bounty of local peach farmers into help for the hungry, while saving the environment in the process.

Just Peachy Salsa: Feeding Communities, Helping Farmers is a ground-breaking collaboration that teams the Food Bank of South Jersey with Eastern Propak, a farmers’ cooperative, and the Campbell’s Soup Company. This project salvages more than 800,000 pounds of healthy, excess peaches from local farmers and turns them into tasty salsa with the manufacturing expertise of Campbell’s Soup. The salsa is sold directly by the South Jersey Food Bank and through farmer’s markets and a large grocery chain in the southern part of the state. The proceeds, which topped $110,000 since the salsa was introduced in early 2013, have been used to provide more than 500,000 meals for those in need. The project also provides cost savings for farmers who don’t have to discard their excess of imperfect peaches and helps prevent additional waste in local landfills.

“Hunger exists in literally every county in America. Just Peachy Salsa is helping to close the food gap by building a bridge between the private and public sector,” said Val Traore, Chief Executive Officer of the Food Bank of South Jersey. “Our goal is to share that experience with others so they can collaborate to feed hungry families across the nation.”

Food Bank of South Jersey
Just Peachy Salsa: Feeding Communities, Helping Farmers
Campbell’s Soup Company
Eastern Propak, LLC