This month, 658 jars of peanut butter were distributed to food banks in Orange County.
That’s the equivalent of 19,642 ounces, or 1,228 pounds of peanut butter.
The donation is the result of the Peanut Butter Challenge, an event in which the UF/IFAS Extension Orange County collects jars of peanut butter to give to local food banks during the month of October.
The challenge, which has run annually since 2012, accepts unopened, unexpired jars of peanut butter in any size to stock food pantries and support Florida peanut farmers.
“Peanut butter is the best product to collect for food banks,” said Kevin Camm, County Extension Director for UF/IFAS Extension Orange County. “It has a very long shelf life, is fairly inexpensive for people to donate and is incredibly nutritious for kids.”
This year, the jars were distributed to six food banks across the region, including the Conway United Methodist Church, Impact Outreach Ministry of Central Florida, the Russell Home for Atypical Children, Pershing K-8 Family Food Pantry, Servant’s Heart Ministry and Timber Springs Middle School Family Food Pantry.
Children in the Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program handled the distribution of the jars. Officials said the program uses the learn-by-doing approach to help youth gain the knowledge and skills they need to be responsible, productive citizens. In this case, that meant helping to feed hungry families right before the holidays.