Food Insecurity in Florida
Food insecurity is an obstacle many Floridians face. In 2021, it was estimated that roughly 2.2 million Floridians lacked access to healthy food, with just over 660,000 being children. In Orange County specifically, 13.8% of our residents, nearly 191,090 individuals, face food insecurity. During the month of October, the Peanut Butter Challenge is an opportunity for our community to come together to donate jars of unopened peanut butter in order to fill the shelves at local food banks around our county.
In 2021, the Peanut Butter Challenge:
- Had 55 participants, including FAMU and a UF campus collection
- 45,157 total pounds collected
- 35,109 total jars collected
- The amount of peanut butter donated last year could make over 700,000 peanut butter sandwiches!
Peanut Butter as a Source of Nutrition
Peanut butter is the selected commodity for this challenge because of the nutritional value and long shelf life. (Plus, who doesn’t like peanut butter?!) Some nutritional facts:
- Peanuts have more protein than any nut (7g per serving), contain more than 30 essential vitamins and minerals, and are a good source of fiber and healthy fats.
- The average American child will eat 1,500 PB&Js before graduating high school.
- It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
- There are enough peanuts in one acre to make 35,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Peanuts as a Commodity
The peanut industry plays an important role in the Sunshine State. In 2019, Florida’s peanut industry contributed a whopping $119 million to the state economy. That year, Florida was also ranked 3rd nationwide in peanut production with over 155,000 acres and 589 million pounds of peanuts harvested.
Lets Come Together as a Community
Now more than ever, after devastating Hurricane Ian, is the time for us to come together as a community to support those in need. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, throw an extra jar or two or three into the cart and know that you’re helping feed our county and supporting our farmers.
- UF IFAS Extension Orange County, 6021 S Conway Rd, Orlando, FL 32812
- Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32808
- Bear Creek Recreation Complex, 1600 Bear Crossing Dr., Orlando, FL 32812
- Bithlo Park, 18501 Washington Ave., Orlando, FL 32820
- Capehart Park, 715 Capehart Dr., Orlando, FL 32822
- Fort Gatlin Recreation Complex, 2009 Lake Margaret Dr., Orlando, FL 32806
- Goldenrod Recreation Center, 4863 N. Goldenrod Rd., Winter Park, FL 32792
- Meadow Woods Recreation Center, 1751 Rhode Island Woods Cir., Orlando, FL 32824
- Silver Star Recreation Center, 2801 N. Apopka-Vineland Rd., Orlando, FL 32818
- South Econ Recreation Center, 3850 S. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, FL 32829
- Renaissance Senior Center at South Econ Community Park, 3800 S Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, FL 32829
- Tibet-Butler Preserve (office), 8777 C.R. 535, Orlando, FL 32836
- West Orange Recreation Center, 309 S. West Crown Point Rd., Winter Garden, FL 34787
- Not located in Orange County? Find your local extension office here!