Donation to state’s food pantries marks start of National Peanut Month
Published 8:30 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023
To honor March as National Peanut Month, the Virginia Peanut Board and Virginia Peanut Growers Association are again teaming with Peanut Proud to contribute pallets of 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, a news release from the Virginia Peanut Growers Association stated. 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 13th year that Virginia’s peanut growers have contributed at least two pallets, or 2,880 jars, to kick off the March celebration. This year, the donation increased significantly with an 18 pallet, or 25,920 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 nine years.
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Virginia’s seven regional food banks will all benefit from the contribution and will distribute the peanut butter throughout their network of 1,350 pantries, soup kitchen 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. We are so fortunate that Peanut Proud was able to increase our donation by so much this year. Our state’s entire feeding network will benefit from this.”
Eddie Oliver, executive director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks said this is the largest peanut butter donation to the network in recent memory and comes at a critical time.
“Higher costs at the grocery store are straining the budgets of our food insecure neighbors and our pantry lines are growing,” Oliver said. “ We are more grateful than ever for the support from our friends at the Virginia Peanut Growers Association.”