Peach salsa to help feed South Jersey's hungry

Since the start of the struggling economy, the Food Bank of South Jersey has had an increase in demand from food pantries and soup kitchens. But donations of supplies and money haven’t kept pace with the growing need.

The Food Bank this week announced that it has partnered with Campbell Soup to produce and sell Just Peachy, a sweet salsa made from New Jersey peaches, in a new fundraising initiative. The product, to be sold for $2.53 a jar, is expected to raise more than $100,000 and create a much needed revenue stream for the Food Bank’s hunger-relief programs.

“The proceeds will go to buy food, which we desperately need,” said Food Bank spokeswoman Lydia Cipriani.

The salsa is made entirely with donated ingredients: Nearly a half-pound of fresh peaches plus crushed tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, cilantro and garlic are in each jar. More than 52,000 jars have been produced and will be sold at the Food Bank and soon at area retail locations.

About 850,000 pounds of blemished peaches grown by farmers in the Eastern ProPak Farmers’ Cooperative of Gloucester County were used for the salsa. The fruit would otherwise have gone to waste.

“Because of their size and blemishes, these peaches cannot be sold and would ordinarily be discarded in landfills,” according to the Campbell Soup news release. By donating it, the farmers saved the landfill cost.

Since I wasn’t able to make it to the news conference on Wednesday, a Campbell Soup representative delivered two jars of salsa to our Cherry Hill bureau. My colleagues swarmed our snack table to try it and the consensus was that it was pretty good and would go well with fish tacos or something tropical.

For information on where to purchase the salsa, visit www.foodbanksj.org or call 856-662-4884. 

The Food Bank of South Jersey is nonprofit food distribution center that provides perishable and shelf stable food to area food pantries that serve more than 100,000 adults, seniors and children.

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