RICHMOND—In honor of National Peanut Month, the Virginia Peanut Board, Virginia Peanut Growers Association and Peanut Proud donated a record-breaking number of peanut butter pallets to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks.
National Peanut Month is observed in March and celebrates the versatility of the peanut. Used in a variety of Virginia products, the legume is packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, folate and other essential nutrients.
This month marks the 13th year that Virginia’s peanut growers have donated at least two pallets, or 2,880 jars, of peanut butter. Contributions are given to Virginia’s seven regional food banks to distribute throughout their network of 1,350 pantries, soup kitchens and other partner agencies.
This year’s donations exceeded recent-year highs with an 18-pallet contribution from Peanut Proud—the equivalent of 25,920 jars. Total contributions reached 20 pallets, or 28,000 jars —enough to feed thousands of families experiencing food insecurity in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The record-breaking donation comes at a “critical time,” said Eddie Oliver, executive director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. Mindful of higher costs at grocery stores and growing pantry lines, Oliver expressed his gratitude for the impactful support.
“It’s been incredibly meaningful to be able to do this the number of years that we have,” said Dell Cotton, executive secretary of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association.
M.L. Everett, chair of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Peanut Advisory Committee
, concurred. “As a peanut grower in Southeast Virginia, I am very happy to see that our peanut organizations and Virginia Farm Bureau members are again supporting local food drives and food banks with peanut butter,” he said.
Because peanut butter is one of the most requested items at food banks, peanut growers hope their annual initiative inspires others to donate peanut butter to their local food banks.
“Peanut butter is the perfect item for food banks because of its nutritional benefits, and it’s shelf-stable,” Cotton said. “These big jars will last multiple meals for a family who needs it.”
Rich in heart-healthy fats and protein, a 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains up to 8 grams of protein and 2-3 grams of fiber.
“It’s always important to support those who don’t have the capabilities to support themselves, and any of us can fall into that same dilemma,” Cotton said. “Hopefully donations like this are able to help get them back on their feet and through a tough time.”
To find a food bank near you, visit vafoodbanks.org/virginia-food-bank-locator.
Media: Contact Cotton