FRANKLIN, Va. — To honor March as National Peanut Month, the Virginia Peanut Board and Virginia Peanut Growers Association are again teaming with Peanut Proud to contribute peanut butter to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, a partner state association of Feeding America.
National Peanut Month is an opportunity to recognize the versatility of the humble peanut. From Virginia’s famous gourmet peanuts to inshells to peanut butter, a diverse variety of products are made from peanuts or use them as an ingredient. This is mainly due to the important nutritional attributes that peanuts provide. A peanut butter sandwich, so simple to make, is packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, folate and other benefits for the body.
This will be the eleventh year that Virginia’s peanut growers have contributed at least 2 pallets (2,880 jars) to kick off the March celebration. This year the donation increased significantly with a 5 pallet (7,200 jars) contribution from Peanut Proud, an industry sponsored charitable organization that reacts to existing needs, whether it be for food banks in the peanut growing states or disaster relief. Peanut Proud has been involved with the Virginia Peanut Growers’ donation during each of the last 7 years.
Virginia’s seven regional food banks will get one pallet each and will distribute the peanut butter throughout their network of 1,500 pantries, soup kitchens, and other partner agencies.
“Peanut butter is at the top of the list of needed products for most food banks” said 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 pandemic has placed an immense strain on the food bank system so donations are needed ̋.
“Nutritious, shelf-stable food items like peanut butter are essential to our emergency food distribution efforts,” said Eddie Oliver, Executive Director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. “We are so grateful we can rely on our partners at the Virginia Peanut Growers Association to help us better serve the estimated 1.2 million Virginiansstruggling with food insecurity.”
The Federation of Virginia Food Banks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit state association of food banks affiliated with Feeding America and is the largest hunger-relief network in the state. Composed of the seven regional Virginia/Washington DC food banks, the Federation supports the food banks in providing food, funding, education, advocacy throughout the Commonwealth.
–Dell Cotton, Virginia Peanut Growers Association