By: Jane Freiman, Director of Campbell’s Consumer Test Kitchen
After six years, I still get excited to welcome young Camden students to our WHQ to participate in the Cooking Matters hands-on nutrition education experience.
For the past six weeks, our employees teamed up to host 10 terrific fourth-grade students from KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy. We conduct the program with the Food Bank of South Jersey and Cooking Matters, a national Share Our Strength initiative designed to support families in creating food budgets and cooking healthful meals.
During their weekly visits, the students work alongside us in the test kitchen and our employee volunteers—using cooking tools, examining food labels, practicing math skills, and, of course, trying new foods. The students learn how fun and easy preparing a delicious (and nutritious) meal can be.
Last night we celebrated their graduation with the traditional cook-off, with teams of two or three students each cooking up a different dish chosen by our employee volunteer coaches. These concoctions were remarkable: Nacho taco bites, turkey tacos, granola bars with dried cherries, and especially the tropical pancakes!
It’s wonderful and inspiring to help these young people experience a true taste of success in the kitchen.
To me, this is a great example of Campbell living into our purpose—Real food that matters for life’s moments. For these kids, learning to cook is a real food moment, and I’m already eager to see (and smell and sample) what next year’s class cooks up for us!