The 2021 Peanut Butter Challenge was a tight race to the finish line as our 4-H clubs competed to bring in the most pounds.
It was most certainly a race, but not a challenge this year, for the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agriculture Sciences (UF IFAS) Extension office of Indian River County to collect peanut butter for the annual statewide jar collection to stop hunger. We started the 2021 Peanut Butter Challenge with the goal to exceed our collection total of 223 pounds in 2020. The challenge began October 1st and finished up right after Thanksgiving on November 30th.
During those two months, the community surpassed our expectations and helped us bring in a total of 746 jars of peanut butter, equaling 1,185 pounds. As a result, Indian River County Extension was the UF IFAS Southeast District Champion for the Peanut Butter Challenge. Overall, the entire state collected an impressive 22.5 tons of peanut butter.
In Indian River County, we had drop-off locations in Vero Beach at the County Administration Buildings and in Sebastian at the North County Public Library. Providing a drop-off location in Sebastian spread the challenge across the county and enabled more community members to be involved. The library alone collected 137 pounds of peanut butter!
Our 4-H clubs get involved as well, and to spice up the challenge and get our youth members excited, we had an ice cream prize generously donated by Countryside Citrus, a local family business. The prize would be awarded to the club that brought in the most pounds of peanut butter. The 4-H clubs brought in a total of 944 of the 1,185 pounds. It was a close competition between the Barn Blazer 4-H club and Indian River Academy (IRA) Country Time 4-H club right until the end. With a total of 265 pounds of peanut butter, our new club, IRA Country Time 4-H, won the competition.
All the peanut butter was donated to local food banks to assist families of Indian River County in need. Peanut Butter is a staple in food banks because it’s a nutrient and energy-dense food. Half of the jars were picked up by the Treasure Coast Food Bank and the other half was sent to the new community fridge pantry in Fellsmere.
If you would like to be involved in the future, make sure to check in with UF IFAS Extension of Indian River County this fall for the 2022 Peanut Butter Challenge or contact us at (772) 226-4330.
For more information on the Fellsmere Fridge, please contact (716) 472-0122 or Fellsmerefridge@gmail.com.
For more information on the 2021 Peanut Butter Challenge:
- Peanut Butter Challenge collects over 22 tons statewide
- Indian River County Extension Peanut Butter Challenge 2021