Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Campbell Soup Company Pledges $10 Million to Benefit Camden Residents

CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell Soup Company announced a $10 million pledge to the City of Camden's neighborhood revitalization efforts, job training initiatives and projects to benefit youth, such as after-school and summer programs.

The Public Benefits Plan will be funded over the next five years by Campbell and the Campbell Soup Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, and will utilize funds from the Foundation, a new grant from Campbell and additional company funding that leverages New Jersey's Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program.

Campbell's President and Chief Executive Officer Douglas R. Conant said, "Campbell has been committed to the City of Camden since the company's founding here in 1869. This plan builds on that long-standing commitment and recognizes that companies like Campbell have a responsibility to help support their communities. Our continued investment in the city and its residents will help revitalize neighborhoods and support programs that directly benefit people who call Camden home."

Campbell created the Public Benefits Plan with the city and the State of New Jersey as part of the Project Development Agreement for Campbell's expansion plans and the revitalization of Camden's Gateway District. Details of the Public Benefits Plan are:

• Campbell will establish a new fund of approximately $2 million to be used over the next five years to support projects that would include job training and other professional development opportunities for city residents.

• The Campbell Soup Foundation will continue its existing philanthropic efforts in the City by committing an estimated $5 million in grants to area non-profits over the next five years. The Foundation will continue to support neighborhood revitalization efforts and youth programming, such as its annual Summer Program, which provides grants to local non-profit organizations that offer safe, fun and educational summer programs. Campbell employees also will continue to volunteer in the city, with a focus on youth activities and hunger relief programs, among others.

•Over the next five years, Campbell expects to fund $3 million to benefit neighborhood revitalization efforts. Through the state's Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program established by Governor Jon S. Corzine, Campbell plans to expend $3 million within or for the direct benefit of the City of Camden. The Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program provides businesses a tax credit for funds given to non-profit entities carrying out comprehensive revitalization programs in New Jersey.

The first recipients of the Neighborhood Revitalization funds contributed by Campbell are Heart of Camden and Parkside Business and Community in Partnership.

Heart of Camden is a non-profit corporation serving the Waterfront South section of Camden. The organization oversees programs for housing restoration, economic expansion and human development. Its Neighborhood Revitalization Plan has three main goals: revitalizing the Broadway Corridor; creating quality market-rate and affordable housing; and improving air quality. Heart of Camden received $647,500 in funding from Campbell.

Parkside Business and Community in Partnership is a non-profit organization focused on revitalizing the Parkside neighborhood. The group’s Neighborhood Revitalization Plan includes the revival of the business district along Haddon Avenue, support for affordable housing, financial literacy and youth development projects. The centerpiece of the revitalization effort is a planned 20,000 square-foot mixed-use building that will anchor the corridor near Haddon and Kaighn Avenues. The Parkside neighborhood is located South East of Campbell's headquarters. Parkside also received $647,500 in funding from Campbell.

"Governor Corzine has stressed the importance of rebuilding our state one community at a time," said Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Joseph Doria. "I thank Campbell's for their dedication to the residents of Camden and their willingness to work with us through the NRTC program. The commitment they make today is an example we hope others throughout the state will follow."

Campbell Soup Company is a global manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup, baked snacks, and healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of market-leading brands, including "Campbell's," "Pepperidge Farm," "Arnott's," and "V8."

This ambitious plan focuses heavily on neighborhood revitalization and youth programs, two areas of critical need in Camden. It's good to see a major corporation like Campbell Soup taking a lead role in this area.

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