Investing in our Hometown Communities
We consider our grants a success when they lead to sustainable change in our communities. Therefore, the core criteria we use to inform our grant decisions include:
- How the organization’s work leads to behavior change that can be sustained by beneficiaries even when they are no longer directly participating in a program
- How the organization leverages other dollars and partnerships to sustain their work
- How well they take advantage of the skills of our employees to multiply their impact
- How effectively they engage residents in their work and use resident input to inform programming
- Whether or not they partner across sectors to create systemic change.
While our grant programs take different forms and have different levels of geographic reach, breadth and depth, and different processes – these criteria apply across them and help us gauge whether we are having the impact that we seek.
Campbell’s Healthy Communities
Our signature community affairs program, Campbell’s Healthy Communities, is a 10-year, $10 million commitment to measurably improve the health of young people in our hometown communities. Launched in 2011, Campbell’s Healthy Communities brings together an ecosystem of partners that work together and conduct mutually reinforcing activities, primarily in our headquarters of Camden, New Jersey. The work focuses on four areas that we believe make communities healthier: food access, nutrition education, physical activity and public will. Activities take place across a variety of settings, including schools, health care sites and food retailers.
Working Collaboratively in the School Environment
Our grantees’ collective work at our partner schools was a key highlight in FY2019. All our Campbell’s Healthy Communities organizations have worked collaboratively at KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy in Camden over the past five years, building school gardens, teaching nutrition education lessons, offering after-school physical activity programs, assisting with taste tests and food distributions, and transforming the food in the cafeteria. Big wins in 2019 include the launch and subsequent expansion of the salad bar in the cafeteria, an 80 percent increase in student engagement in cafeteria taste tests, and nutrition education in the classroom to complement the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. These programs are succeeding because students have both access to healthy food and education about healthy food.
Incorporating Student Voice with the Camden Youth Advisory Council
Another exciting component of our Campbell’s Healthy Communities program is our Camden Youth Advisory Council, a group of high school students who serve as advisors and thought partners to our work. For the past several years, the Council chose to focus its efforts on school food and the changes they want to see in their school cafeterias. The Council surveyed 120 classmates across five schools and compiled a comprehensive report outlining the areas of need, which they then presented to the head of food service and nutrition for the school district. This is a great example of young people using their voice to spur change and to make their schools into healthier communities.
Campbell Soup Foundation
FY2019 marked the launch of two new Foundation programs: the Healthy School Food program, which builds off the success of our work in schools through our signature program, Campbell’s Healthy Communities, and the Community Impact Grants program.
Improving School Food
With our signature program, Campbell’s Healthy Communities, having just finished year eight of the 10-year initiative, we are beginning to look to the future, taking what we have learned from this program to launch our next initiative. In FY2019, the Campbell Soup Foundation allocated strategic funds toward our long-term priority of improving food offerings in schools. Building from the success at our KIPP schools in Camden, we are planning to take this work to the next level. Through a combination of larger grants to national partners and smaller grants in support of local organizations working on the ground in districts, we are helping to create a school food environment in which all students have access to real, healthy food.
In year one, we supported:
- FoodCorps service members who are placed in schools across several districts focusing on hands-on learning about healthy food, healthy school meals and creating a school-wide culture of health
- Wellness in the Schools’ efforts to rewrite school menus and train cafeteria staff to prepare fresh and healthy meals for kids
- Mini grants to improve equipment in cafeterias to make them conducive to healthy cooking and eating
Community Impact Grants
Our Community Impact Grants Program was created to expand the geographic reach of our funding and to engage more employees in our grantmaking process. Through this program, we rely on select employee nominators from across our Campbell locations to nominate nonprofit organizations operating in their communities to apply for a grant. Nominators are trained to identify organizations whose work aligns with our community affairs mission and focus areas and who meet the other criteria Campbell considers when making grants. During FY2019, the first year of the program, we received 68 nominations, which our Foundation executive committee and Board of Trustees ultimately narrowed down to 31 recipients across 15 Campbell locations. The grants ranged between $15,000 and $25,000 and were unrestricted, allowing organizations to use funds to build capacity and support their organizations as they see fit.
Examples of FY2019 Community Impact grantees include:
- Marion Polk Foodshare, whose mission is to end hunger in Salem, Oregon, and the surrounding county by addressing food insecurity through not only traditional food distribution programs, but also through a prescription veggie program, Meals on Wheels and nutrition education;
- Victory Garden Initiative, whose focus is on helping people in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, grow their own food, thereby creating a community-based, equitable, sustainable and nutritious food system; and
- The Northeast Texas Trail Coalition, who is working to “re-cycle” a rail banked corridor in Paris, Texas, into pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian trails to allow for safe exercise and transportation, including safe bike routes to school.
Empowering Employee Giving Through Choice
We continued to evolve our Giving That Matters employee giving programs this past year. We recognize that employees want to support causes and charities that matter to them. That’s why our new programs are designed with choice at their core. Employees have $1,500 in matching available to them from day one of employment at Campbell and they can choose where to give. In addition to open giving, employees are empowered to create specialized “funds” – groupings of nonprofits by focus area – on our giving platform where they can invite others to support causes they care about. Employees can also give their time, and recipient nonprofits will benefit from $10 per eligible volunteer hour. In FY2019, Campbell employees donated more than 10,500 service hours across the United States.
Donations that Nourish Every Kid
For Pacific Foods, nourishment dictates everything: from products that are made from simple, carefully sourced ingredients to the team’s efforts to nourish the environment and communities. In 2019, Pacific Foods formalized its community work under their Nourish Every Kid program with clear guidelines, partnership parameters and an outreach plan to ensure they were reaching the most people with the most needs.
For years, Pacific has run multiple donation initiatives, including its flagship effort: donating over 100,000 meals to local children every year in partnership with local food banks, elementary schools and donation centers. Nourish Every Kid builds on the insight that thousands of children in the brand’s very backyard – the Pacific Northwest – continue to dread weekends and school breaks because of the anxiety associated with where their meals might come from. In 2019, the team took their work a step further and developed a protein-rich food box containing enough food for about three days. They partnered with their paper supplier, International Paper, who donated the materials and designed a box in a size a child could carry or fit in a backpack. Pacific Foods employees continue to be involved in the initiative by participating in regularly held team building events to make the boxes and using paid time off to volunteer.
Nourish Every Kid supports 23 schools and other organizations, and the team is taking steps to formalize the program even more in coming years.
Plant-Powered Fuel from Plum Organics
Plum Organics is also providing nutritious food to underserved children. In collaboration with Conscious Alliance, Plum Organics donates Super Smoothie product and supports product distribution costs to preschools across Colorado and on the South Dakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Once delivered, the smoothies are placed in children’s backpacks to take home, providing a reliable source of nutrition that can help boost health and readiness to learn.
Caring For Communities After Disaster
When disasters strike, we respond by coming together and supporting our colleagues in need. When Hurricane Florence made landfall in September 2018, it left the area surrounding our Maxton, North Carolina, facility inundated with flood waters. The homes of more than 70 employees were severely damaged. We immediately activated our Emergency Assistance Fund (EAF) to provide quick support to our employees who needed emergency food, water and shelter. A similar response was provided to several employees at our Campbell Snacks location in Columbus, Georgia, who were severely affected by the tornadoes that ripped through the area in March 2019.
Campbell prides itself on responding to natural disasters with a two-tiered approach beginning with food donations and financial support for immediate relief items such as mucking supplies, tarps, lights and emergency gear. After the initial wave of support has left these communities, we work with local and national partners to support the long-term recovery of these impacted regions. In 2019, Campbell provided support to the American Red Cross, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, CARE, Catholic Relief Services and Convoy of Hope for the recovery of regions impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, tornadoes in Alabama and Georgia and the volcanic eruption in Guatemala.