Spread the word: Peanut Butter Challenge kicks off Oct. 1

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 local county Extension offices, in addition to some partner collection sites, from Oct. 1 through Nov. 24. At the end of the donation period, the jars are tallied to determine the bragging rights champion before the donations are delivered for those in need.

Fifty-three competitors will participate in the 2021 event, including a partnership with Florida A&M University (FAMU) Cooperative Extension. Find or contact your nearest donation site:

The UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will also be a peanut butter collection point, in addition to the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County office. All donations to the college will be given to the Alan and Cathy Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry, which assists members of the campus community facing food insecurity. Peanut butter for the college can be dropped off in McCarty Hall D (ground floor) on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville.

Coordinated by UF/IFAS Extension faculty, staff and volunteers, the Peanut Butter Challenge was conceived as a way to feed hungry families ahead of the holidays in addition to promoting a Florida-grown crop. 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 show food insecurity affected roughly one in 10 Floridians in 2020.

In addition to engaging local communities, the Peanut Butter Challenge has partnered with the Florida Peanut Producers Association (FPPA) and Florida Peanut Federation (FPF) 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.

“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.”

To stay up to date on your county’s progress, follow your local Extension office on social media.


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.
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Posted: September 22, 2021

Category: Events, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Baker County, Bay County, Bradford County, Calhoun County, CALS, Citrus County, Clay County, Escambia County, FAMU, Food Insecurity, Franklin County, Gadsden County, Gilchrist County, Gulf County, Hamilton County, Hernando County, Highlands County, Holmes County, Jackson County, Jefferson County, Lafayette County, Leon County, Libbie Johnson, Liberty County, Madison County, Nassau County, Okaloosa County, Okeechobee County, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Challenge, Putnam County, Santa Rosa County, Suwannee County, Taylor County, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County, UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, UF/IFAS Extension Broward County, UF/IFAS Extension Collier County, UF/IFAS Extension Columbia County, UF/IFAS Extension Duval County, UF/IFAS Extension Glades County, UF/IFAS Extension Hardee County, UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, UF/IFAS Extension Indian River County, UF/IFAS Extension Lee County, UF/IFAS Extension Levy County, UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County, UF/IFAS Extension Martin County, UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County, UF/IFAS Extension Monroe County, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, UF/IFAS Extension Palm Beach County, UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County, UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County, Union County, Wakulla County, Walton County, Washington County

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