The catchy lyrics of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s famous musical belie what the wind can really do on the Oklahoma plains.
For a few days in late May, the wind spun a record-breaking path of destruction near Shawnee and in Moore, Okla. Tornadoes did more than send the wheat fields waving, but as soon as the dust cleared, the peanut industry sprang into action to make sure food banks would have peanut butter on the shelves.
The peanut industry’s disaster relief initiative, Peanut Proud, made several deliveries to Oklahoma by the first full week of June. After sending more than 30,000 jars of peanut butter, Peanut Proud worked to collect another 18 pallets of peanut butter and supplies at Lineage/Flint River in Albany, Ga., on a Southern Ag semi. It traveled to Texas where it collected four more pallets of peanut butter from the Texas Peanut Producers. Included on that truck was a pallet of supplies donated by the Tifton Fire Department and a pallet donated by the Miller County Board of Education.
Sending The Perfect Food
Regarding that delivery, Gregg Grimsley, President of Peanut Proud, said, “We are very thankful to be able to send another 28,000 jars of peanut butter. We would like to remind our industry that disasters can occur at any time and you can still donate to the disaster relief efforts online at www.peanutproud.org.”
Peanut Proud would like to thank all the product and service donors who helped make the shipments possible: Kroger Tara Foods, American Blanching Company, J.B. Sanfilippo, Lineage/Flint River Services and Southern Ag Trucking. In addition, a heartfelt thanks to all the industry organizations and individuals who have made financial contributions as well as those who have volunteered their time.
The Georgia Peanut Commission donated $5,000 towards the project.
“We as peanut farmers in the state of Georgia are excited to be taking part in the donation to help families in Oklahoma during this difficult time,” said Tim Burch, Georgia Peanut Commission board member. “Peanut butter is the perfect food in a situation like this since it does not have to be refrigerated, does not require cooking and delivers a nutritional punch that is life-sustaining.”
Receiving A Blessing
Oklahoma’s peanut industry has a dedicated group of folks working on their behalf each day, and when the trucks rolled in, they were there to meet it. Mike Kubicek, Oklahoma Peanut Commission executive director, and his wife, Kianna, and Gayle White, National Peanut Board member, along with her husband Joe, helped coordinate the deliveries.
“Standing at ground zero and watching the collective cleanup efforts of so many volunteers and hearing first-hand stories of ‘miracles’ and human compassion tugs at your heart and leaves a lasting impression,” Kubicek said.
Kubicek and others are working with the Oklahoma Emergency Management Association to deliver the peanut products to at least three distribution centers in the area surrounding towns of Moore and Shawnee, Okla. The First Baptist Church of Moore was command central for tornado relief efforts in that city. The Federal Emergency Management Association, American Red Cross and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Mission Teams, along with other specially trained organizations, were set up at this location.
Make donations to Peanut Proud online at www.peanutproud.com or
send a check payable to “Peanut Proud” to “Project Oklahoma Relief,”
c/o Peanut Proud, P.O. Box 446, Blakely, Ga., 39823.
“On behalf of my fellow Oklahomans and the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Peanut Commission, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to each of the individuals, companies and organizations that support the humanitarian efforts of Peanut Proud and so generously provided the product donations for the Oklahoma Tornado Relief effort,” Kubicek said.
Peanut Proud is still taking donations for Oklahoma tornado relief and will be ready when the next humanitarian effort is needed.