FRANKLIN, Va. (WFXR) — With National Peanut Month less than two weeks away, Virginia’s peanut growers are sharing the agricultural wealth by contributing thousands of peanut butter jars to food banks across the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Peanut Board and Virginia Peanut Growers Association announced on Saturday, Feb. 15 that they are partnering with Peanut Proud — a charitable organization sponsored by the peanut industry to respond to its needs, such as disaster relief or food bank support in peanut growing states — to donate peanut butter jars to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, which is a nonprofit state association affiliated with Feeding America.
According to a statement from the Virginia Peanut Growers Association, National Peanut Month is an opportunity to recognize peanuts’ versatility. The organization says that peanuts are used in a wide variety of products due to their important nutritional attributes. For example, a simple peanut butter sandwich reportedly contains proteins, vitamins, minerals, folate, and more.
“Peanut butter is at the top of the list of needed products for most food banks,” says Dell Cotton, Executive Secretary of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association. “The nutritional benefits of our industry’s most popular product makes it a necessity for the people who are served by food banks. I hope others will follow our lead and contribute much needed food items, including peanut butter, to their local food relief organization.”
This marks the 10th year that Virginia’s peanut growers have been able to donate at least 2,880 jars of peanut butter to kick off the March celebration. In fact, the Virginia Peanut Growers Association far surpassed that goal of 2,880 jars thanks to a contribution of 7,200 jars from Peanut Proud, which has been involved in this annual donation for the past six years.
The Virginia Peanut Growers Association says that each of Virginia’s seven regional food banks will receive about 1,440 jars of peanut butter, which adds up to more than 10,000 jars to distribute across the Commonwealth using the Federation of Virginia Food Banks’ network of 1,500 pantries, soup kitchens, and partner agencies.
“Protein is the most requested food group among the 860,000 food insecure Virginians that we serve,” says Eddie Oliver, Executive Director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. “Partnerships like this one with Virginia’s peanut industry are critical to our ongoing efforts to stock our pantries with nutritious food items.”