The Peanut Butter Challenge, UF/IFAS Extension’s annual jar collection for local food pantries that launched in the Florida Panhandle in 2012, is again spreading statewide this year. Unopened jars of peanut butter can be donated to the Escambia County Extension office, located at 3740 Stefani Road, Cantonment, FL 32533 from Oct. 1 through Nov. 24.
Other Escambia County collection sites include:
- Escambia County Public Safety, 6575 North "W" St., Pensacola, FL 32505
- Escambia County Farm Bureau, 153 Highway 97, Molino, FL 32577
- Holy Spirit Catholic,10650 Gulf Beach Highway, Pensacola, FL 32507
- Gilmore Services, 31 E. Fairfield Drive, Pensacola, FL 32501
- Perdido Bay United Methodist Church, 13360 Innerarity Point Road, Pensacola, FL 32507
- City Hall, 222 W. Main St., Pensacola, FL 32502
- Escambia County Administration, 221 Palafox Place, 4th Floor, Pensacola, FL 32502
- Pensacola Beach Visitors Information, 7 Casino Beach Boardwalk, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
- Holy Cross Episcopal Church, 7979 N. Ninth Ave., Pensacola, FL 32514
“We are always impressed and touched by the communities’ grassroots support for this program,” said Libbie Johnson, agricultural agent for UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County and co-organizer of the Challenge since its inception. “The peanut industry is a great contributor to our state, but this event also shows how the nutritious food it produces can help our fellow community members who may be struggling.”
The peanut, which is produced mainly throughout the northern regions of the state, contributed $119 million to the state economy in 2019, according to the Florida Agricultural Statistics Service. Peanut butter is an ever-popular item in food pantries for its nutrient density and shelf stability. The project took on new meaning last year as demand for food bank assistance had increased as an economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest numbers from the United States Department of Agriculture shows food insecurity affected roughly one in 10 Floridians in 2020.
In addition to the community donations, the Florida Peanut Producers Association (FPPA) and Florida Peanut Federation (FPF) have partnered with the project for years. These organizations are based in the northwest and northeast peanut-producing regions of the state and will again contribute to the totals distributed to food pantries in those regions.
In the 2020 Peanut Butter Challenge, the first year the event was conducted statewide, participating UF/IFAS Extension county offices received over 27,000 total pounds of peanut butter.
To join or partner with Escambia County’s collection this year, call the UF/IFAS Escambia County Extension office at (850) 475-5230.
For more information about the UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County Office, visit sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/escambia or like Escambia Extension on Facebook.
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.
ifas.ufl.edu | @UF_IFAS