Peanut Butter Challenge
Photo Source: UF/IFAS Extension Escambia
What would you do with 10,000 pounds of Peanut Butter? How about change the lives of hungry families.
What’s It All About?
The annual Peanut Butter Challenge has begun for 2018. Unopened jars of peanut butter are collected throughout the Florida Panhandle. We do this until the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at area Peanut Butter Challenge donation drop-off sites. Local peanut farmers help to match contributions. The peanut butter is then donated to local food pantries and food banks to help struggling families. Last year, the Peanut Butter Challenge collected about 9,000 pounds of peanut butter. This year, the goal is to collect 10,000 pounds of Peanut Butter. Five tons – whew, that’s a lot!
Why Is It Important?
When families are not sure where and when they will get healthy food to eat, they are considered to be food insecure. Many of these families rely on food pantries to supplement their dietary needs. Peanut butter is the most requested food in most pantries. It is loaded with protein and other good-for-you nutrients like fiber and potassium. Peanut butter is shelf stable – no need to heat or keep cold. Most people really like the taste of it. So…basically, a super food.
What is the Easiest Way for Me to Help?
Nutty for Peanut Butter
Photo Source: Angela Hinkle
Though peanut butter is very economical, (usually about $2.50 per pound), look at the sales ads. Almost every week, some place has peanut butter on sale. Better yet, look for the buy one, get one free specials. Keep one jar for yourself and donate a jar. Then take your peanut butter to the closest Peanut Butter Challenge collection site.
Where Can I Contribute or Find Out More?
To find out where to donate unopened jars of peanut butter in your area, contact your local Northwest District UF/IFAS Extension office.
Help UF/IFAS Extension and the Peanut Butter Challenge donate 10,000 pounds of peanut butter to help take a bite out of hunger for local families in need. Oh, and we’ll do the heavy lifting.
For more information on how UF/IFAS Extension faculty are working to provide food access to more people and stem this tide of hunger, read Nick Place on 2018 PBC.
Peanut Butter Challenge Champion
Picture credit: Angela Hinkle
So you say you never win anything? Taking the Peanut Butter Challenge is a competition you’re guaranteed to win.
You can help feed the hungry in Florida’s Panhandle this year by donating peanut butter during the annual Peanut Butter Challenge, coordinated by UF/IFAS Extension. Thanks to a partnership between UF/IFAS Extension and the Florida Peanut Producers Association, food pantries from Pensacola to Monticello will receive thousands of jars of donated peanut butter this December.
From October 1 through November 22, you can donate unopened jars of peanut butter at your UF/IFAS Extension county office. Since 2012, UF/IFAS Extension faculty and volunteers have collected jars of peanut butter from residents, volunteer groups, and businesses in 16 northwest Florida counties. Last year, UF/IFAS Extension county offices received 3,236 jars of peanut butter! In addition to these donations, the Florida Peanut Produces Association also contributes, supplying more than 3,000 jars each year to the Challenge.
We hope to surpass last year’s total! This year, citizens throughout the Florida Panhandle counties are asked to help by donating peanut butter and becoming Peanut Butter Challenge Champions.
“The Peanut Butter Challenge not only raises awareness about the important contribution of North Florida’s peanut growers to the state peanut industry, but also helps provide a healthy, locally produced product to food-insecure families in northwest Florida,” said Libbie Johnson, Agricultural Agent in Escambia County.
Why peanut butter? Peanut butter is the most requested item at food pantries. See https://youtu.be/fPFvSgzmM3Y to learn more. A serving of peanut butter is loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and “good” fats. Peanut butter is a shelf-stable item – meaning it does not have to be heated or refrigerated. And people really like the taste.
How do you become a Peanut Butter Challenge Champion? Look for peanut butter BOGOs and other discounted sales at your local stores. Keep a jar for yourself and give the other unopened jar(s) to the Peanut Butter Challenge.
Voila! Everyone’s a winner! And you may proudly say, “I am a Peanut Butter Challenge Champion!”
It’s that time of year: going to Friday night football games, decorating with pumpkins, welcoming in some cooler weather, and harvesting our locally grown peanuts and cotton. This also means it’s time for the Peanut Butter Challenge. We collect jars of unopened peanut butter throughout the Northwest Panhandle of Florida through November 23rd. (Contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office for details and peanut butter drop-off sites.)
Peanut butter is a locally grown (okay, we don’t actually grow peanut butter, but we do grow the peanuts that make peanut butter), protein packed, tasty food that is safe to eat and store at room temperature. For these reasons, it is one of the most requested items at food pantries. After Thanksgiving, we will distribute to food pantries and organizations that give food to hungry families in need.
Okay, so what role do socks play in this? Cotton, another great locally grown agricultural product, is used to make socks. And even though UF/IFAS Extension does not have a “Sock Challenge,” the homeless and limited-resource families are often in desperate need of new white socks. There are plenty of shelters and schools who would really appreciate donations of clean new socks – any time of year.
So…Peanut Butter and Socks – they really are the Florida Panhandle’s perfect combination!
Nutty for Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a versatile food which has soared beyond being jelly’s side kick on bread. Peanut butter can be used as a snack, as part of a full meal, in baking, and yes, even in cooking. It’s an economical source of protein and it is a wonderful food to pack on the go because it won’t spoil as quickly as most animal proteins will.
Even though most people think of them as nuts, the peanuts which are ground up to make peanut butter, are part of the legume family. Peanut butter is packed with heart-protecting mono and polyunsaturated fats – which are the “good”, cholesterol lowering fats. Also the ratio of saturated fats to unsaturated fats puts peanut butter right up there with olive oil. Do keep in mind, however, that these fats are also what make peanut butter a high calorie food. Like other yummy foods, moderation is key so try to limit yourself to about 2 tablespoons – about 180 calories.
Peanut butter is a good source of protein, and essential vitamins and minerals which include Vitamin E, niacin, and magnesium. On average, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has about 8 grams of protein which helps contribute toward your daily protein needs and it provides energy while keeping you feeling full. Those two tablespoons of peanut butter also have about 2 grams of fiber (about 3 grams if you eat the crunchy). If you eat peanut butter with a fruit or whole grain bread, it can really boost your daily fiber intake.
For tasty ideas, look for peanut butter recipes like: yogurt peanut butter dip with fruit, Thai noodle dishes with peanut butter, peanut butter granola, and peanut butter smoothies. Peanut butter is consumed in 90 percent of households in the USA and Americans eat enough peanut butter in a year to make more than 10 billion peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Most of us don’t outgrow our love of peanut butter. You’re never too old for peanut butter, so go nutty.
For more information about peanut butter, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.