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I would like to thank everyone for their generous donations to the March Peanut Butter Drive for Virginias food banks.  Many state agencies joined VDACS in this endeavor, and state employees across the Commonwealth dropped off jars of peanut butter and other food at locations in Richmond, Franklin, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville and Wytheville.  Many agencies conducted their own drives and delivered food themselves.  Groups like the Virginia Peanut Growers Association, Master Gardeners, churches and schools collected and delivered peanut butter, and we'll never know how many individuals responded to the challenge.  We do know this: the shelves at many of our food banks were empty or nearly empty of peanut butter in February, and by the end of March, they had received thousands of pounds of peanut butter and other food.

We also know something else very important.  By purchasing and donating peanut butter, Virginians supported our states peanut industry which was hurt by recalls of items containing peanut paste from a processor out-of-state.  Peanuts have been an important part of Virginia's agricultural economy for hundreds of years, but reaction to the recall took its toll, not only on growers but also on specialty food producers who use Virginia's high quality peanuts in their products.

Thank you for supporting this peanut butter drive, for helping our food banks restock their shelves with this important staple item and for supporting Virginia's peanut industry.

Todd P. Haymore, Commissioner
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Photo of Todd P. Haymore, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services deliviering peanut butter to the Central Virginia Foodbank.
After delivering peanut butter to the Central Virginia Foodbank (CVFB), VDACS Commissioner Todd Haymore, far right, chatted with Sandy Baytops, far left, who had come from Tappahannock to obtain peanut butter and other food for the Seventh Day Adventist Community Services food pantry. Between them are Roy Peters and Brenda Miller of the CVFB.
Photo Gallery:

In February, VDACS challenged state employees and agencies, as well as the public, to support Virginia's peanut industry and the state's food banks by donating peanut butter. People have been very generous and have donated thousands of pounds of peanut butter to food banks statewide.

Photo of load of peanut butter in Salem Va.
Photo of Dell Cotton and Leslie Van Horn.
On April 3, Danny Neel from VDACS' Marketing Division delivered a load of peanut butter to the Southwestern Virginia Second Harvest food Bank in Salem, Virginia.

Dell Cotton, left, Executive Director of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association, presents Leslie Van Horn of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks with a check for $8,000 to buy peanut butter for Virginia food banks statewide. Association members donated the money when they heard that food bank shelves were empty of peanut butter because people had stopped donating. The Association was able to buy more than 8,100 jars of peanut butter with the money.

Photo of Jack Fox loading peanut butter for VDACS.
Photo of peanut butter restocking.
Jack Fox, VDACS' Division of Marketing, coordinated the Richmond area campaign and on April 2 began loading 1,296 pounds of peanut butter into an agency van.

As soon as VDACS delivered almost 1,300 pounds of peanut butter to the CVFB, workers there began restocking their shelves.

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