Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have become a summer tradition in Hinesville, thanks to the community’s generosity and the dedication of several organizations and individuals.
“The fourth annual collection brought in an amazing 3,150 jars of PB&J to feed hungry children, homeless, senior citizens and participants of the summer reading program,” Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Director Michelle Ricketson said.
The authority partners with the Hinesville Rotary Club to conduct the Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive at businesses in May-June and during the June 7 Farmers Market in Bradwell Park. Area residents, businesses, civic groups, churches and government entities donate jars of peanut butter and jelly that, in turn, are given to the Manna House of Liberty County. The food pantry helps feed children through the summer with the donations.
Ricketson said that for the third consecutive year, the community donated about 1,000 more jars than the previous year.
Local businesses and organizations competed, each vying to win the designation of top contributor. Ameris Bank and its customers upped their donation by 400 jars, bringing in 1,011 jars! Food Lion and their customers donated 430 jars. The Hinesville Area Board of Realtors brought in 412 jars (with 208 of those from Coldwell Banker Holtzman Realtors). The Vietnam Veterans Association Post 789 amassed 212 jars, GeoVista Credit Union collected 169 jars, Fort Stewart Senior Spouses/Neighbors donated more than 150 jars, Full Gospel Tabernacle brought in 111 jars, St. Philip Episcopal gave 102 jars, and OnShore Outsourcing donated 101 jars.
“Last year, we were able to help a lot of families with children. This year we can help even more. Hinesville is a truly a city with a heart,” Manna House Director Pastor Katrina Deason said. “Peanut butter and jelly serves many people: children can prepare food for themselves, and our homeless population can use it without storage concerns.”
“The HDDA, the Farmers Market and the Hinesville Rotary Club are happy to coordinate the annual Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive,” Ricketson, who is also a member of the Rotary Club, said. “The community has embraced this event beyond our wildest dreams, and added an additional 1,000 items to the collection total each year.”
HDDA manages the Farmers Market.
Anyone who missed the drive but would still like to contribute can drop off donations of peanut butter and jelly at the Liberty County Manna House on Memorial Drive. For more information on the Manna House and the services it provides, visit www.foodpantries.org/li/manna_house _ministries_31313 or call 912-368-3660.