Starting October 1st and ending on November 24th Putnam County youth will be once again participating in the Peanut Butter Challenge which provides a critical food staple to those in need. Last year, Putnam County 4-H collected and donated over 70 jars of peanut butter to Feed the Need of Putnam County which works to end childhood hunger in the county. This year they are hoping to collect even more! This challenge is a UF/IFAS Extension wide effort throughout the state to better the communities we serve. The 4-H program is the youth development program of the University of Florida.
Projects like the Peanut Butter Challenge not only benefit the recipients of the peanut butter but the youth collecting it. Youth, especially teens, can sometimes be labeled negatively and this is one way to battle that. Richard Lerner, Ph.D. through studies done at Tufts University has identified five characteristics of teen behavior that have been shown to increase positive development. Those characteristics are competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring. In our 4-H program, we aim to build all these characteristics, and projects like this, are one of the ways we are able to help develop youth.
Helping youth identify needs in their community beyond themselves is a critical first step for them to thrive and become contributing members of their community. As youth explore ways to help meet those needs, they identify activities to accomplish their goals. The Peanut Butter Challenge is just one of those ways. Putnam County 4-H youth participate in a variety of projects each year to provide to those in need throughout the community. It is all part of their 4-H pledge of “hands to larger service”.
Do you want to be a part of helping others? If so, you can bring unopened jars of peanut butter to the UF/IFAS Putnam County Extension Office/Agricultural Center at 111 Yelvington Road in East Palatka FL, 32131. If you have any questions, please call us at 386-329-0318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.