Florida Farm Bureau donates peanut butter to state food banks

peanut butter drive

The Levy County Farm Bureau conducted a “Spread the Love” peanut butter drive in celebration of Food Check-Out Week in February. Peanut butter donations were collected from the community to donate to local food banks and shelters — file photo from the Levy Farm Bureau

Florida Farm Bureau Federation will contribute 120,960 jars of peanut butter to Florida food banks statewide to help families facing hunger due to the pandemic.

“We are proud to provide a non-perishable food item such as peanut butter to food-insecure families across Florida,” said Florida Farm Bureau President John L. Hoblick. “This comes at a time when children are going back to school and peanut butter is a nutritious lunchtime staple.”

Florida Farm Bureau is working with Peanut Proud to deliver 84 pallets of peanut butter valued at $120,960 to Feeding Florida food banks. The first shipment will be at the Feeding the Gulf Coast and Second Harvest of the Big Bend, covering 18 counties stretching from Escambia to Taylor.

“Protein is critical for the health of our families,” said Robin Safley, executive director of Feeding Florida. “This generous donation to our network is such a blessing. The need for food resources is twice as high as it was pre-pandemic, so nearly 121,000 jars of peanut butter will go a long way.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained hunger-relief efforts around the state, increasing the number of food insecure Floridians by 38%. The donation will help serve more than 3.8 million hungry Floridians, the latest projections due to the pandemic

In Florida, there are approximately 7,500 peanut farmers and the annual production value of peanuts is $145 million. More than 670 million pounds of peanuts are grown annually in the Suwannee Valley and the Panhandle.

The Florida Farm Bureau Federation contributed this article.