Some years ago, I grew up enough to know I feel woozy when I don’t eat breakfast. A few years later, I grew up enough to know I feel woozy when I don’t eat the right kind of protein at breakfast. Thus began my love affair with peanut butter. It’s the first thing that comes to my mind when someone asks, If you were on a desert island and had only one food to eat, what would it be? Followed by pizza. Then, I remember if I don’t eat the right kind of protein at breakfast, I feel woozy. “Peanut butter,” I answer. Sometimes I catch myself saying, “If it weren’t for peanut butter, I might starve.” (Mindless hyperbole and probably offensive.)
My own reasons for loving peanut butter reflect why it is consistently on every food bank list of most needed items, though.
This National Peanut Board infographic says it all. Peanut butter is a cheap, convenient, Superfood. Which is why food banks always need it. (And why it’s a staple life-saving treatment or RUTF--ready-to-use therapeutic food--for malnourished children in countries stricken by poverty, political strife, and climate change. If it weren’t for peanut butter, these children might actually starve.) Feeding America, the United States’ largest anti-hunger organization, partners with other large entities--Cheesecake Factory, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints—to collect it. Peanut Butter for the Hungry, a nonprofit supported by United States peanut industry groups, focuses exclusively on collecting and distributing it, and every day teachers across the country use it to feed kids like Byron.
There’s a month for everything now. November is the month for around 50 different things, including loving peanut butter. Those of us feeding hungry folks have a particularly good reason to observe “National Peanut Butter Lovers Month." Project hosts might consider posting a Call to Action: peanut butter. Or even organizing a peanut butter drive. (Click through here for Peanut Butter for the Hungry’s “Peanut Butter Drive Success Kit.")
And if you think peanut butter is just for kids, take a look at this Southern Peanut Growers resource for tasty and healthy recipes. If you don’t already, you might love peanut butter, too.
Maybe not more than pizza.