Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have been an American favorite for years.
The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before they graduate high school, according to the National Peanut Board.
They’re so popular, in fact, that in 2002 a flash animation of a dancing banana singing a song about peanut butter and jelly, entitled “Peanut Butter Jelly Time,” went viral.
But with the increasing cost of peanut butter, local food agencies are finding it difficult to provide the nutty product to clients, even through the West Ohio Food Bank.
“All groceries have been going up over the last 3, 4, 5 years,” said Pantry Plus of Seneca County director Stacy LaFountaine. “Peanut butter has just become too expensive. One (18-ounce) jar of peanut butter costs almost $2 versus a can of corn for 5 or 10 cents.”
She said the pantry used to be able to get a case of peanut butter for $10. The price for a case of 12 18-ounce jars of peanut butter has increased to around $20. In comparison, she said four 14-pound turkeys cost $5.04.
But one local organization is promising to help the Pantry with its peanut butter peril.
Fostoria Rotary Club has committed to supply peanut butter and jelly to clients of the Pantry. The club has given an initial donation of $400 and 40 jars of peanut butter to start the program.
Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders, according to member Scott Scherf. The Fostoria Rotary Club has donated more than $50,000 to area non-profits, schools and causes over the last five years.
Scherf said Fostoria Great Scot has an 18-ounce jar of Our Family Peanut Butter for $1.89 that it is offering for the next few weeks. Community members are welcome to help by purchasing a jar of peanut butter or jelly from area stores and dropping them off at Great Scot, the Review Times, Geary Family YMCA or the Edward Jones office on Main Street.
Both Fostoria and St. Wendelin Schools have agreed to do dress-down days, where students are able to wear jeans instead of their uniforms or campus-wear that day for a donation. All money raised will go toward the peanut butter and jelly program.
“With peanut butter and jelly sandwiches being a food item that any hungry child can make, the Fostoria Rotary Club thought this to be a worthwhile cause,” Scherf said.
“A jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly and some bread: that’s a nutritional meal,” LaFountaine said. “Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are great for kids. They’re fun. When families come in, we want to make sure we have three meals for them and a substantial amount of it that they can enjoy.”
Pantry Plus of Seneca County provides eligible individuals, families and seniors residing in Fostoria and Seneca County with food and personal items on a monthly basis. The goal of the pantry is to stamp out hunger in Fostoria and Seneca County, according to LaFountaine. Partnering with Fostoria Rotary Club will help make this project “a success for many years to come,” she said.
“Our motto is, we are not a hand out, but a hand up,” she said. “To anyone that can afford to give us an extra jar of peanut butter, it’s going to go a long way.”
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