National Peanut Month is an opportunity to recognize the versatility of the humble peanut. From Virginia’s famous gourmet peanuts to in shells to peanut butter, a diverse variety of products are made from peanuts or use them as an ingredient. This is mainly due to the important nutritional attributes that peanuts provide. A peanut butter sandwich, so simple to make, is packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, folate and other benefits for the body.
Virginia’s peanut growers have contributed at least 2 pallets (2,880 jars) to kick off the March celebration for the past seven years. This year the donation increased significantly with a 5 pallet (7,200 jars) contribution from Peanut Proud, an industry sponsored charitable organization that reacts to existing needs, whether it be for food banks in the peanut growing states or disaster relief. Peanut Proud was also involved with the Virginia Peanut Growers’ donation during each of the last four years.
“Peanut butter is at the top of the list of needed products for our food banks” said Dell Cotton, Executive Secretary of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association. “The nutritional benefits of our industry’s most popular product makes it a necessity for the people who are served by food banks. I hope others will follow our lead and contribute much needed food items, including peanut butter, to their local food relief organization.”
“Protein is the most in-demand food item throughout our network of 2,000 hunger relief agencies,” said Eddie Oliver, Executive Director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. “Peanut butter is a valued source of nutrition for Virginia families and we are so grateful for the ongoing commitment of our peanut industry to supporting hunger-relief efforts throughout the Commonwealth.”
The Federation of Virginia Food Banks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit state association of food banks affiliated with Feeding America and is the largest hunger-relief network in the state. Composed of the seven regional Virginia/Washington DC food banks, the Federation supports the food banks in providing food, funding, education, advocacy and awareness services and programs throughout the Commonwealth.