Peanut butter and jelly drive helped stock food pantry shelves

Posted May 08, 2012, at 3:43 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — In its fight against hunger during March, Bangor Savings Bank collected more than 7,000 jars of peanut butter and jelly in response to a food drive overseen by each of the bank’s 56 branches. The donated food was distributed to local food pantries that serve each of the branches.

“Bangor Savings Bank recognizes that many Mainers struggle to put food on the table,” said Jim Conlon, president and CEO of Bangor Savings. “For the past two years, we’ve been fortunate to partner with Good Shepherd Food Bank to support their efforts in providing Maine families with food. This targeted food drive was a way for us to involve our employees, customers and the public in giving to their community, and recognizing the real issue of hunger in our state.”

Organizers said once the request for peanut butter and jelly donations went out, the response was immediate and great, with customers, bank employees, schools and other community groups dropping off peanut butter and jelly donations in quantities ranging from a single jar to bags and boxes full. The Welch’s company donated 10 cases of grape jelly to jumpstart the initiative.

“The collection and distribution of more than 7,000 jars of peanut butter and jelly to dozens of food pantries around the state go a long way to increasing food security for hungry Mainers,” said Christine Force, vice president of fund development and strategic initiatives at Good Shepherd Food Bank. “Having a high-protein food like peanut butter available is especially vital to families with children. More than 200,000 people, including 1 in 4 children, struggle with hunger in Maine. … And the overwhelming response, means local food pantries can continue to keep families fed.”

Conlon also acknowledged local media partners for their role in broadcasting the peanut butter and jelly drive.

Given the success of the peanut butter and jelly drive, Bangor Savings Bank already is pursuing ways to expand next year’s effort.

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