November in the Panhandle of Florida. Time for pumpkins, cooler weather, hay rides, football games, harvesting cotton and peanuts, and of course, Thanksgiving. It’s also time for the annual Peanut Butter Challenge! We gather peanut butter to give to those who could use a little help feeding their families. Why peanut butter? It is the most requested item in food pantries, it’s shelf stable – you don’t have to heat it up or keep it cold, people like it – a lot, it’s economical – especially if it’s a buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO), it’s local – peanuts are the biggest crop in the Florida panhandle, and it’s healthy – a great source of plant-based protein.
So what about Jane? Jane’s been a consistent contributor to the Peanut Butter Challenge every year. This may not seem like a very big deal, but you see, Jane is allergic to peanut butter. This may not seem like such a big deal either, but to me, it’s like giving time to help out the blood drive even though you can’t give blood, walking in Relay for Life to show support for cancer research though you have no money to give, giving money to a charity because you have it and it feels like the right thing to do.
So whether you give because of your competitive spirit – “my group can give more than theirs”, you have a couple extra dollars and there is a BOGO, because it makes you feel good knowing how much the receiving families appreciate it, or you just feel like it’s the right thing to do, please give to the Peanut Butter Challenge.
And be thankful – for peanut butter … and Jane.
To find out more about the Peanut Butter Challenge or how you can give by November 25, please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension County office in the Northwest District UF/IFAS Extension Office.