The Campbell Soup Company announced today that it 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. Surrounded by community leaders and elected officials including Senator Donald Norcross, and The Salvation Army Kroc Center Administrator Major Paul Cain, Campbell’s President and Chief Executive Officer Denise Morrison made the announcement 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 will also eat meals served from the kitchen. The Campbell Healthy Community Kitchen will also 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 Denise Morrison, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Campbell Soup Company. “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 Major Paul Cain, Kroc Center Administrator. “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 square foot 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 Company 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. Mrs. 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.