In partnership with the River Valley Regional Food Bank, the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith will host its second annual peanut butter donation drive in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Junior Week celebrations.
Peanut butter is one of the most coveted items of need at food banks across the country due to its high nutritional content, ease of use and lengthy shelf life. It serves as an excellent source of protein and offers children struggling with hunger the energy to get through the day, explained Justin Bates, marketing and development coordinator with the RVRFB.
Last year the bins placed at UAFS garnered more than 100 pounds of peanut butter for the food bank, assisting numerous families in the region.
“It is quite fitting that, on a week commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, we should celebrate his legacy by aiming to achieve a purpose much greater than ourselves,” said Dr. Williams Yamkam, associate professor at UAFS and chair of the campus chapter of the American Democracy Project. “By collecting peanut butter jars that will then be distributed to those in need in our community, we collectively make life a bit easier for many people and we make our community a bit better. Hopefully this will be a defining moment in the campaign to raise awareness about the need to supply community groups such as the River Valley Food Bank with enough peanut butter jars to meet the needs of our fellow residents."
River Valley Regional Food Bank Executive Director Tracy Engel expressed her excitement in continuing the partnership with UAFS in an effort to keep River Valley families healthy and shared an impactful quote from Dr. King.
During his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, 1964, Dr. King emphatically stated, “I have the audacity to believe people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”
“This quote reflects the mission and the partnership that the River Valley Regional Food Bank has with UAFS in striving to make sure everyone gets to eat no matter what, for hunger has no borders and affects us all,” Engel said. “We are so appreciative of each and every one who participates in this community effort and look forward to seeing it grow each year.”
Bins will arrive at the UAFS Campus Center and UAFS Boreham Library this Friday, Jan. 17, and the week-long donation event ends on National Peanut Butter Day on Friday, Jan. 24.