Managing and Measuring Our Performance
We recognize that childhood obesity is a major health problem in the U.S. Today, more than 30% of our children are overweight or obese, which can lead to future health problems and associated medical and societal costs. Since its inception, Campbell has focused on health in our workplace and healthy options in our product portfolio.
In assessing the needs of our communities and our unique strengths as a company, we set a destination goal to help improve the health of young people in our communities by reducing childhood obesity and hunger by 50% by 2020.
In 2011, we formally launched our Campbell’s Healthy Camden Initiative in our home of Camden, New Jersey. We announced a commitment of $10 million over 10 years in support of our goal and hired a Director of Childhood Hunger and Obesity to drive our efforts in Camden and other North American Campbell communities.
Our initial efforts are focused at five pilot sites in Camden, a city of 78,000 residents, 23,000 children, one full-size grocery store and significantly higher levels of childhood obesity and hunger than the national average.
As a food company with a healthy portfolio of products, we are uniquely positioned to participate in the creation of an accessible and equitable food system in our community. And, we are doing this by constantly leveraging our internal expertise by integrating nutrition education throughout our program strategies and engaging the community within all aspects of our work.
Despite our expertise and resources, overall success will require a collective impact approach. We have assembled a group of representatives from different sectors that express a long-term commitment to our common agenda for solving the obesity and hunger issues facing our community, including:
Our goal is to serve as a catalyst by identifying opportunities for long-term systemic change in Camden by inviting participation from other institutional donors, as well as ownership by community partners, throughout the city.
In 2012, we expect to continue to advance the program in Camden, while building modules transferable to other Campbell communities. We also plan to have baseline BMI and food security outcome measures complete for Camden in 2012.
In Norwalk, Connecticut, hometown of Pepperidge Farm, childhood obesity approximates 40% and yet, until recently, no program to address this crisis existed. Pepperidge Farm invited a diverse group of community stakeholders to join us in developing a new approach to this challenge. These stakeholders, including Pepperidge Farm, the Norwalk Hospital, the Norwalk Health Department and Jefferson Elementary School, formed an alliance that was a first for the city.
Each partner brought a unique set of skills and resources that resulted in very effective and productive meetings. In a matter of four months, the team designed and implemented the Learning with Energy from Activity and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.) project.
Project L.E.A.N. is a three-year pilot program designed to teach a targeted group of elementary students at Jefferson School the importance of good nutrition and regular physical activity. The program is designed for second graders who will be tracked for three consecutive years.
Students participating in the program are also asked to complete a questionnaire designed to assess their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward eating healthy foods and being physically active. Additonally, at the beginning and end of each school year, BMI data is collected from each of the students.
The program, while in early stages, is already showing positive shifts in attitudes and behaviors among the students. Parental feedback is extremely supportive, absentee rate for the class is down, and BMI results are moving in the right direction.
Broaden our Campbell’s Healthy Camden Initiative to focus on a citywide food system, while also becoming a key player and convener of city and state officials, nonprofit organizations and others advocating for a food system plan to make nutritious, high-quality food accessible to everyone in Camden.