UF/IFAS Extension collects food pantry donations through county competition

STAFF REPORT

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office is gathering donations for the less fortunate in a unique way.

UF/IAS Extension is asking community members to donate a jar of peanut butter to their county extension office by Oct. 31. Those jars will then be distributed to local food pantries, backpack programs, and other programs that assist people who need food.

To up the ante and encourage donations, a friendly competition is fostered among counties through an annual event known as the Peanut Butter Challenge. 

“Peanut butter is an excellent source of high-quality protein for strong muscles and quite filling. It is a favorite of both children and adults and easy to store, with a long shelf life,†UF/IFAS Extension Washington County Family and Consumer Sciences Agent and Peanut Butter Challenge coordinator Judy Corbus said in a news release. “Since it is one of the most requested items at food pantries, collecting peanut butter is an easy way to meet a local need and help our neighbors.â€

The Washington County office is located at 1424 Jackson Avenue, Suite A in Chipley. Two additional drop-off locations are the Washington County Government Annex at 1331 South Blvd. in Chipley and the Sam Mitchell Public Library at 3731 Roche Ave. in Vernon.

The Peanut Butter Challenges in the Florida Panhandle dates back 11 years and became a statewide campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s always heartwarming to hear the stories of community involvement,†UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County agriculture agent and co-organizer of the 2023 event Jennifer Bearden said. “This event has always relied on community support, and the competition between counties is all with a positive message at its heart.â€

For more information, visit sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/peanutbutter.