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The 2020 Peanut Butter Challenge

Spread the Word… Peanut Butter Fights Hunger!- Update with Total Pounds of Peanut Butter Collected

By Yvonne Florian and Christine Kelly-Begazo

2 girls share peanut butter outdoors on a picnic blanket

Girls sharing a peanut butter snack. UF/IFAS Photo 07-24-20.

Join the 2020 UF/IFAS Extension Peanut Butter Challenge, October 1st – November 25th, 2020.  Challenge your friends, family, civic groups, and 4-H clubs to gather and donate unopened jars of Peanut Butter.  Drop off unopened peanut butter jars at the UF/IFAS Indian River County Extension Office, 1800 27th Street, Building B – 2nd floor, directly above the Tax Collectors/Drivers License Department.  Pose for a photo of you (wearing a mask) and your Peanut Butter donation. Then help a child (12 months old to 99 years old) to make the edible Peanut Butter Play Dough recipe below to celebrate.

Follow the links at the end of this blog to learn more about peanuts, peanut butter history, and growing peanuts in Florida.

growers inspecting peanuts in a field

Dan Gorbet holding fresh pulled peanuts, UF/IFAS photo

What is the Peanut Butter Challenge?

This year, from October 1st thru November 25th, the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Indian River County Extension Service will once again be participating in the Peanut Butter Challenge, where our community donates peanut butter to help fight hunger locally.  And the great thing is that these donations will be matched and shared with another county.

Each year, the Florida Peanut Producers Association (FPPA) and the Florida Peanut Federation (FPF) match the peanut butter donations collected by the UF/IFAS Extension community throughout the state, pound for pound.  It’s like donating double your peanut butter.  This year, the FPPA and FPF matching-donations will

4-H Agent, Darren Cole, at the Treasure Coast Food Bank donating last year's Peanut butter

UF/IFAS 4-H Youth Development Agent, Darren Cole, at the Treasure Coast Food Bank with last year’s Peanut Butter Challenge donation.

stay in  north Florida to help fight hunger among the victims of hurricane Sally. Our matching donation will go to our sister county, Washington county, which has seen its fair share of challenges in 2020.  The donations gathered locally will remain in Indian River County to help fight hunger in our own community.

Past Peanut Butter Challenge…

Last year, the Indian River County Extension offices collected over 250 pounds of peanut butter.  That was then donated to the Treasure Coast Food Bank.  Please help us beat our record by donating to this great statewide effort.  Jars of peanut butter can be dropped off at the Indian River County Extension office in Vero Beach from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. 

Jars of peanut butter, honey, and dry milk powder: ingredients for edible play dough.

Ingredients for edible play dough: peanut butter, dry milk powder, and raw Florida honey.. Photo by Yvonne Florian

Some Peanut Butter Fun

Edible Play Dough recipe, you will need:

  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons dry milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon raw Florida honey

In a medium-sixed bowl, mix the above ingredients until smooth and pliable.  If it is too sticky, you may need to add a bit more milk powder, a teaspoon at a time.  If too crumbly, add a pinch more peanut butter, till of desired pliability.  With a child over 12 months of age (or older), mold dough into fun shapes (people, animals, flowers, cars, ropes, balls) or roll flat with a mini-rolling pin and cut with fun-shaped cookie cutters.  Your child can use his fingers or spoons to make patterns or tracks in the dough.  Eat at will.  Dough may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

December Update- Over 224 Pounds of Peanut Butter Collected

In Indian River county, we managed to collect 222.78 pounds of peanut butter.  That’s 105 jars from the community, Extension Service, and 4-H clubs.  Indian River County 4-H clubs collected over 124 pounds (67 jars) of peanut butter while the community donations totaled 100.75 pounds (42 jars).  Thanks to all who participated to help fight hunger in 2020.

Some Statewide PB-Challenge Statistics

The 53 counties which participated in this year’s challenge collected 27,000 pounds of peanut butter, equal to thirteen-and-a-half tons of it.  The challenge is all in good-for-the-community fun but there were a few counties which stand out above and beyond expectation.  Following are the top peanut butter collecting counties:

  • Escambia County- the winner at 2,867.5 pounds!
  • Levy County
  • Orange County
  • Pasco County
  • Highlands County

To learn a bit more about “Energy and Nutrient Density” in foods, including peanut butter, please read the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS) publication by that title at:

For more information about how peanuts are grown in Florida and a brief history of peanut butter, please visit the Florida Peanut Producers Association website Peanut Industry at a Glance:  

Interested in how peanuts are produced, how long they take to mature, and what happens to all those peanuts?  The UF/IFAS EDIS publication “Producing Peanuts for the Fresh (Green or Boiling) Market” explains how, when, where, and how long it takes to produce all those peanuts in Florida.  Learn more: