FRANKLIN—Virginia peanut producers will take the super-nutritious peanut from the field to the food bank in the form of peanut butter donations during National Peanut Month in March. The Virginia Peanut Board and Virginia Peanut Growers Association are working with Peanut Proud to contribute more than 10,000 jars of peanut butter to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. “Food banks always need peanut butter,” explained Steve Berryman of Surry County, a fourth-generation peanut grower and member of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Peanut Advisory Committee. “Peanut butter is a good choice to donate to food banks, because it’s so high in protein and has a long shelf life.” Dell Cotton, executive secretary of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association, said this is the sixth year Virginia’s peanut growers have donated peanut butter for the March celebration. “Food banks’ No. 1 request for stocking their shelves is peanut butter,” he pointed out. Peanut usage jumped 27 percent last year on strong demand for peanut butter and candy, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures. Record-high exports of U.S. peanuts are expected to continue. Media: Contact Cotton at 757-562-4103.