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Revitalizing Housing, Health, and Hope in Camden

by Kate Barrett, Senior Manager of Community Affairs

 

At Campbell, we’re proud and honored to be able to support and invest in our hometown communities. Together, our Campbell’s Healthy Communities program, Campbell Soup Foundation, cash and in-kind support, and enthusiastic employee volunteers are a powerful force for good as we strive to enable long-term, sustainable quality of life improvements where we live and work.

 

Before and after: 1370-72 Block of Park

 

One way we’re supporting our Camden community – hometown to our headquarters for 150 years – is through the N.J. Department of Community Affairs Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) Program. In 2019, we’re contributing $689,500 to support neighborhood revitalization efforts in Camden’s re-emerging Parkside neighborhood through the Parkside Business & Community in Partnership (PBCIP) – bringing our total support of Camden initiatives through the NRTC program to nearly $8.4 million since 2008.

 

Before and after: 1500 block of Park

 

Through this year’s NRTC funding, PBCIP will:

  • Rehab and construct 44 multifamily units to expand attractive housing options,
  • Incubate small business enterprises to support employment and provide much-needed goods and services for the local community,
  • Nurture Parkside’s Roots to Market Initiative to make it easier for residents to access and enjoy healthful foods, and
  • Facilitate the Clean Team that gives unemployed and underemployed residents an opportunity to build their community while building their work history and skills.

“The Parkside neighborhood is rich in history and a true sense of community,” says Bridget Phifer, PBCIP Executive Director. “Through Campbell’s NRTC investment, we are bringing key strategic partners together to build Parkside structures, revitalize blocks, grow connections, and achieve progress for sustained hope.”

 

Solar panels atop the PBCIP Learning Garden

 

We’re grateful to be able to help PBCIP, and its many success stories remind us of why this work matters so much. One such story comes from Asha, who felt the impact of being a single mom while trying to pay her rent.

“I was trying to get my savings in order and my father told me about PBCIP as a program that helps people find houses at affordable prices. Many people are struggling to afford rent, but what PBCIP did for me is life-changing. I was able to buy a house in my early 20s in an area I loved and have an affordable mortgage.”

Asha was fascinated by her own home buying experience and her PBCIP Homeownership Coordinator helped catapult her career into real estate. “My mom didn’t get a chance to experience owning a house. I’ve been in the house with my son for three years and I’m lucky.”

 

Parkside History Garden

 

Our Campbell Community Affairs mission is to strengthen and empower healthy communities in our hometowns.  Nurturing our neighborhoods is one way we do this, and the NRTC program enables us to invest in long-term, sustainable impact for Camden.