Nuts for helping others

Published 8:03 pm Saturday, March 8, 2014

Peanut industry donates popular product

Virginia peanut growers and processors have made a hefty donation of peanut butter to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks.

March is National Peanut Month, and it’s also a lean time for food banks. So the industry has gotten together for the second year in a row to donate thousands of jars of peanut butter to people in need.

“The food banks always need peanut butter,” said Dell Cotton, executive secretary of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association. “They need a lot of stuff, but that’s usually at the top of many of their lists.”

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Peanut butter is in high demand by food banks and the people they serve, because it is cheap, keeps well and is packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, folate and other good stuff, according to a press release from 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,” Cotton wrote in the press release.

Planters and the peanut growers association kicked off the donating this year with 5,760 jars donated to the food bank federation. Peanut Proud, an industry-sponsored charitable organization, upped the ante significantly with 10,080 more jars.

“Hopefully, this will encourage other people to do the same thing,” Cotton said.

The peanut butter will be taken to the federation office in Norfolk, located at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, and distributed among all the food banks in the state.

“Our friends in the peanut industry continue to step forward every March in honor of National Peanut Month and help stock our food banks with peanut butter,” said Leslie Van Horn, executive director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. “We are so grateful for this generous donation that will make a difference in the lives of so many who are struggling to put food on their tables.”

For more information on how you can help the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, visit www.foodbankonline.org or call 627-6599.