CAMDEN, NJ — Five local groups have received awards totaling $5,500 during the Campbell Soup Foundation's 15th networking breakfast.
More than 100 community leaders attended the event which is part of Campbell Soup Company's ongoing 150th anniversary celebration.
“Campbell has been a strong community stakeholder and, moreover, a conscious corporate partner who cares for the most vulnerable living within our community," Camden Mayor Frank Moran said during his opening remarks.
"Whether it is supporting civic events or partnering with local organizations through their Healthy Communities initiative aimed at promoting healthy eating, the Camden community remains a priority. I congratulate the award recipients who embody the values which Campbell has exhibited over the past 150 years," Moran said.
The Foundation recognized four local organizations that embody Campbell’s core values; and, in honor of Campbell’s milestone 150th anniversary, also presented a special Camden Legacy Award to a community organization that has had a long-lasting impact on the community.
"We’re honored to celebrate and recognize these organizations who are so committed to making Camden a better place for everyone," Chris Foley, President of Campbell’s Meals & Beverages Division, said.
The Campbell Values Award recipients each received a $1,000 grant for their organizations. The Camden Legacy Award recipient was awarded $1,500. Here are the award winners:
Do Right and Be Real Award: Tricia Yeo of the Food Bank of South Jersey, was recognized for her efforts to ensure that Camden’s residents have access to healthy food and have the education and cooking skills necessary to enjoy it. She was also celebrated for her leadership of the Camden Youth Advisory Council, which enables Camden high schoolers to use their voice to bring positive change to their city.
Dare to Disrupt Award: Pilar Hogan Closkey was recognized for her leadership of Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society. Focusing on housing as the core of the community, she has launched innovative housing programs and complementary services that have resulted in over 1,000 homes being built for Camden families and another 450 homes being repaired.
Seek the Power of Different Award: Justin Spencer-Linzie of the Greater Philadelphia YMCA was recognized for his leadership of community recreation programs in Camden, particularly Soccer for Success, an after-school soccer program offered free-of-charge. Spencer-Linzie and his team expanded this program throughout the city by incorporating community feedback and modeling best practices from national partner, US Soccer Foundation.
Own it Like a Founder Award: Elsa Candelario of the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey was recognized for her leadership and dedication to the mission of the organization, ensuring it is rooted in the community it serves and takes a holistic approach to meet families’ needs.
Camden Legacy Award: Wilbert Mitchell accepted the award on behalf of Respond, Inc., which was selected based on nominations from other community partners. The organization was recognized for its unwavering commitment to Camden and its seamless integration into the community, serving residents from childhood through adulthood, and ensuring neighborhoods are safe and nurtured.
“Campbell has been a proud member of the Camden community since our founding in 1869,” said Kim Fortunato, President of the Campbell Soup Foundation. “For 150 years, we’ve been committed to partnering with local organizations in Camden and other Campbell hometowns to improve the communities where our employees live and work.”