CAMDEN, NJ. — Campbell Soup Co. has announced plans to invest $5 million over the next five years in Full Futures, a program geared toward creating an improved school nutrition environment. Campbell Soup will be joined in the program by several non-profit and corporate partners.
To kickstart the initiative Full Futures has launched a pilot program at three schools in Camden. The schools — Dr. Henry H. Davis Family School, Morgan Village Middle School and Camden High School — will receive direct programming such as nutrition education, school gardens, taste tests and menu expansions. In total, approximately 2,000 students are enrolled at the three schools. Campbell Soup said an additional 5,000 students in the Camden area will see enhancements through district-wide nutrition policy and menu changes during the first year of Full Futures.
“The food students eat at school has a dramatic impact on their ability to learn and impacts their well-being today and well into the future,” said Mark Clouse, president and chief executive officer of Campbell Soup. “We believe the Full Futures partnership will provide students the opportunity to not only succeed in school but help them reach their full potential.”
Full Futures will focus on four key pillars:
• Building the school nutrition mindset. The program will seek to make access to nutritious school food a priority for the school district, embraced through district-wide wellness policies and expanded school meal programs that provide food for students 365 days a year.
• Improving foodservice infrastructure. The program will seek to ensure foodservice staff and other stakeholders have the equipment, training and resources needed to execute successful and nutritious school meal programs.
• Providing nutrition education. The program will seek to expand the reach and impact of nutrition and culinary education in a variety of school settings and audiences to support nutritious food choices at school, awareness and interest in nutritious food.
• Enhancing procurement and implementing menu change. The program will seek to support districts in procuring nutritious, locally sourced ingredients and supporting menus that are student-centered and culturally inclusive.
Joining Campbell Soup in the Full Futures program is FoodCorps, which will be providing coordinating support for the initiative and developing a blueprint that will compile the lessons learned from Camden to establish a customizable model for other districts, funders and nonprofits to adopt.
“There has never been a better time to invest in the local vision for nourishing children,” said Curt Ellis, co-founder and CEO of FoodCorps. “Together, with local partners and the support of Campbell, we are thrilled to be a part of taking a holistic approach to supporting school nutrition in Camden through the Full Futures initiative.”
Other partners in the program include the Camden City School District, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, The Common Market, Food Bank of South Jersey, FoodCorps, National Farm to School Network, Wellness in the Schools, Aramark and New Jersey American Water.
Full Futures kicks off just as another Campbell Soup program, Healthy Communities, concludes. A 10-year, $10 million initiative, Healthy Communities created the largest citywide network of healthy corner stores in the state, launched a citywide after-school sports program, and enhanced healthy food options and nutrition education, according to Campbell Soup.
“Proper nutrition is an essential component to a successful school day for every student,” said Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen. “Access to quality food and an emphasis on nutrition education is a challenge in urban areas and in communities of color. I am delighted to see Campbell, with more than 150 years in the Camden community, helping to bridge the gap between access to nutritious food and academic performance. Full Futures will help to overhaul school nutrition while bringing positive change for thousands of Camden students.”