By now you all know that one good thing to come of the industry’s recovery from salmonella-tainted peanut butter was Peanut Proud. This charitable organization works with state grower organizations and non-profit food relief charities to respond to natural disasters by supplying peanut butter and peanut products and in other times to simply stock the shelves of food banks throughout the United States.
In August, flooding in south Louisiana killed 13 people and devastated more than 60,000 homes across 20 parishes. Peanut Proud moved quickly to coordinate a response.
The first shipment of 28,800 jars of peanut butter went from Algood Food, Inc., in Louisville, Ky., to Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans on Aug. 24. A second load of 30,240 jars was shipped from Lineage in Albany, Ga., on Aug. 26.
Gregg Grimsley, president of Peanut Proud, Inc. said, “I am always overwhelmed by the generosity of people in general and especially the people who work in the peanut industry.”
The Alabama Peanut Producers Association was one of the state grower groups involved in these donations. Vice President Mark Kaiser, said, “We felt fortunate we were able to help, and everyone was so thankful and happy to see us. We drove through neighborhoods where both sides of the street were piled with debris as far as you could see. It was devastating, but the people affected were optimistic.”
Kaiser was joined by APPA board member Joel Sirmon and two other Baldwin County producers August Cassebaum and Ray Bertolla, plus Teresa Mays, APPA information specialist, and Marcie Justice Williams, Peanut Proud board member.
David Lorency, president of Operation Compassion, one of the nonprofit agencies helping distribute food, said, “It wasn’t just peanut butter; they delivered gold. Peanut butter was the No. 1 request from those affected by the flood.”
So, even though it was a rough year for commodity prices and crop weather, “ya done good” peanut growers.