Good cause leads to big peanut butter sales in Poplar Bluff, MO

Updated: Mar. 13, 2018 at 3:13 PM CDT
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Food items are sorted for the Mule Packs program at the new storage facility on the Middle...
Food items are sorted for the Mule Packs program at the new storage facility on the Middle School campus.

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Grocery stores were selling out of peanut butter because individuals were buying jars by the caseload in support of the Mule Packs program, #PB4PB participants recently reported.

A total of 2,638 containers of peanut butter plus hundreds of jars of jelly and boxes of crackers were collected from dozens of businesses and organizations throughout the month of February.

The food drive was Bright Future's most successful campaign to date, quintupling the relief organization's goal of 500.

"Once again, our community pulled through to take care of our kids that need a little extra attention," stated Carrie Booker, Bright Futures co-coordinator. "While the purpose of the peanut butter challenge was important, I hope everyone had as much fun making the videos/pictures as we did seeing and sharing them! We can't say thank you enough for helping respond to this need."

The goal of the monthly initiative was to encourage community leaders to ask personnel and customers to help build pyramids comprised of peanut butter donations. Those who were challenged were asked to in turn tag others via Facebook.

The peanut butter will be used to help fill special backpacks, which are distributed bi-monthly to around 150 families in need.

Chartwells School Dining Services volunteered to take over administering the longstanding program for the faith-based community in 2017.

R-I Superintendent Scott Dill became aware of the opportunity during a state conference at the end of January when the Mules Packs program was struggling to generate enough supplies.

"The majority of our kids are living in poverty, that's just the truth. We have a lot of kids that count on their school meals, and Scott worries whether they have enough to eat over the weekends," explained Rod Priest, assistant superintendent of business. "Our food service vendor through their purchase power and Bright Futures through community food drives pool resources with the school district because we all share the responsibility of making sure our kids have something to eat."

In addition to all the peanut butter, over 5,000 hurricane relief packages of food items were purchased by the district at a deeply discounted price from the Missouri State Surplus Property agency.

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