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Georgia Peanut Commission and UGA student organizations partner to give back to the community

To celebrate the month of November as Peanut Butter Lovers Month, the Georgia Peanut Commission hosted a PB&J Party on the University of Georgia campus in Athens to feed the hungry and highlight the importance of agriculture as the largest industry in Georgia. On Nov. 16, volunteers from two UGA student professional organizations, Alpha Gamma Rho and Sigma Alpha, made more than 1,200 sandwiches in one hour. Rebecca Fortner, Sigma Alpha philanthropy chair, appreciated the opportunity to partner with GPC for this event.

“Service is one of the core values of Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority, so we were thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute to our community members in need while promoting one of Georgia’s top commodities with the Georgia Peanut Commission,” Fortner said. “The PB&J party was a perfect way to not only have fun and make memories together as a chapter, but also directly see the charitable impact that an agricultural organization can have.”

The sandwiches were then packaged and donated to Athens-area ministries including the Salvation Army, Atlanta Missions – Potters House and Action Ministries.

“Action Ministries is an organization that mobilizes the community to address the challenges of poverty through hunger, housing and education solutions, and as such, the work that the Georgia Peanut Commission’s PB&J Party does towards celebrating people is deeply important to the well-being of our city,” Solomon Smothers, regional director of Action Ministries said.

The party was a fun event with entertainment to generate excitement and awareness about peanuts and peanut butter, as well as the benefits offered to those in need. It was also a way to bring awareness to the fact Georgia agriculture contributes to the growing need of a dependable food supply and peanuts are the official state crop, generating more than $2.2 billion to the state’s economy in 2017.

Peanut butter for the event was donated by Peanut Proud, Inc., a non-profit, humanitarian organization in the United States peanut industry. Since the organization’s formation, Peanut Proud has donated products to community food banks across the U.S., as we well as areas affected by natural disasters, after-school programs and international aid efforts. Gregg Grimsley, president of Peanut Proud, calls peanut butter “food bank gold” and says that gives the peanut industry a unique position to provide humanitarian assistance.

“It is really gratifying to be part of an industry that is willing to donate as much time, effort and financial resources to helping people in need,” Grimsley said.

Those wishing to donate to Peanut Proud can do so by visiting www.peanutproud.com or by mailing a check to Peanut Proud, P.O. Box 446, Blakely, Georgia, 39823. Every dollar donated will cover the cost of one jar of peanut butter, which can make up to 15 sandwiches for a family in need. According to the National Peanut Board, peanut butter is an ideal food product to feed hungry communities across the U.S. because of its long shelf life, and the fact peanuts have seven grams of protein and more than 30 essential vitamins and nutrients.