Plano Mayor Leads Peanut Butter Drive Challenge
The North Texas Food Bank once again leads the annual Spread the Hope Peanut Butter Drive campaign as part of Hunger Action Month. The food drive lasts the whole month of September. Organizers say the goal is to raise 500,000 pounds of peanut butter, both physically and through online donations, to help feed hungry North Texans.
“Inflation is hitting families hard, and we’ve seen a record increase in nutritious food needs in the North Texas region over the past several months,” Trisha Cunningham, president and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank, said. “This annual peanut butter drive couldn’t have come at a better time with the impact of rising prices and the return of children to school, and it will help us enormously to provide for those who have we need most right now.”
This campaign brings together cities, neighborhoods, businesses and organizations to collect jars of peanut butter that can then be distributed through the North Texas Food Bank. Food 4 Kids Backpack Program and its food network of over 400 partner agencies and organizations. Peanut butter was chosen because it is healthy, child-friendly and shelf-stable, making it an important part of nutritional charity food aid.
This year, the North Texas Food Bank has expanded its campaign to include all 13 counties served by the North Texas Food Bank. Plano Mayor John Muns challenged North Texas mayors in a video to support the reader to help reach the 500,000 pound goal. The Town of Richardson also sponsored a informative video where mayors and council members from Allen, Carrollton, Coppell, Dallas, Fairview, Frisco, Lavon, McKinney, Plano, Richardson and Sachse came together to promote the Peanut Butter Drive in North Texas.
“The North Texas Food Bank service area has the fourth highest number of food-insecure children in the nation, and this food drive is intended to ensure that no child in our service area 10,000 square miles doesn’t go hungry,” Cunningham said. “Our community can bring hope to our hungry neighbors with a simple donation of peanut butter. We are grateful to all the mayors and committee members who support this campaign and help advance our mission to provide food for today and hope for tomorrow.
The Peanut Butter Drive began in 2014 when Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere wanted a way to raise awareness about the problem of childhood hunger in his town. Over the years, the campaign has expanded to include all of Collin County. Led by mayors and county community leaders, the 2021 campaign raised a record 347,979 pounds, surpassing its target of 300,000 pounds and marking an increase from the 287,000 pounds raised in the 2020 campaign.
North Texas residents and businesses can support the food drive by collecting physical jars of peanut butter or through a virtual food drive. Instructions on how to host a virtual food drive and promote it to friends or colleagues are available at www.ntfb.org/peanutbutterdrive. Every dollar donated to the Peanut Butter Campaign Platform is used by the NTFB to buy peanut butter for a hungry North Texas family. Physical 16-ounce plastic jars of any brand of peanut or any other nut butter can be delivered to the North Texas Food Bank’s Perot Family Campus in Plano at 3677 Mapleshade Lane. Attendees at the State Fair of Texas this year also have the option to participate by bringing two jars of peanut butter on opening day for discounted admission.
The peanut butter collected during this campaign is a significant contribution to NTFB’s food goal of its Feed North Texas Campaignwhich includes raising $300 million in donated food by the end of June 2023. Due to the increased need in North Texas as well as supply chain issues, the NTFB has had to purchase significantly more food over the past two years compared to pre-pandemic levels, and offsetting this cost is critical.
For more information on how to get involved in the annual Spread the Hope Peanut Butter Drive campaign, go to www.ntfb.org/peanutbutterdrive.