A new fruit spread hit the market this morning in Vineland but the Southridge Jam company’s purpose goes beyond pairing with peanut butter. The social enterprise is helping the formerly homeless get their lives back on track.
The jam makers are all overcoming hard time, they’re former residents of Southridge homeless shelter. The jam making program is designed to help people who have left the shelter but aren’t quite ready to enter the work force. It helps them feel like they have a purpose while building job and life skills.
So far the Stone Ridge company has strawberry and peach jams and their starting production on a grape jelly at the end of the month. The jam is all made with fruit that may otherwise have been wasted due to cosmetic or size imperfections. The jam is being sold at Cherry Lane in Vineland and you can also buy it online. All the profits that come from the business get reinvested in homeless prevention and and outreach programs in the community. The former homeless who make the jam get the final say on what programs the money goes to.