Tara Greco is senior director in APCO Worldwide’s corporate responsibility practice.
One of my favorite summer food treats is a fresh peach—in any format: sliced, grilled, with my breakfast cereal, in my mom’s peach cobbler. And I have a new item to add to that list: Just Peachy salsa from Campbell’s and the Food Bank of South Jersey.
Not only is it chock full of fresh peaches grown in New Jersey, but is also provides a new revenue stream for the food bank. Campbell’s is taking the partially bruised and oddly shaped peaches from N.J. farmers and using them to make salsa. (Normally that produce would be trashed, since it’s not “pretty” enough to sit on a grocer’s shelf despite being both fresh and tasty.)
The first batch of 54,000 jars was prepared pro bono by Campbell’s. The Food Bank of South Jersey is handling sales through their center and website. All proceeds benefit the food bank.
This approach is especially pertinent in light of last week’s NRDC report that “Americans discard 40 percent of the food supply every year.” Moreover, even as the obesity epidemic poses a huge threat to American families, hunger and poverty continue to loom large. According to Feeding America, nearly 50 million Americans suffered food insecurity in 2010. That means that using our food resources effectively – especially healthy fruit and veggies – is as important as ever.
I’m hoping others in the food industry will follow Campbell’s lead and design some more new products to minimize waste and maximize the health benefits. In the meantime, we can all enjoy the last peaches of the 2012 season with our salsa.