March is National Peanut Month, a time to celebrate one of America’s favorite foods! The Georgia peanut industry kicked off the celebration today by hosting the 2020 Georgia PB&J Day at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia. During the event, the Georgia Peanut Commission and Peanut Proud donated 14,400 jars of peanut butter to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Peanuts and peanut butter were promoted during the event by industry partners serving grilled and regular PB&Js, country-fried peanuts, peanut candy and more.
Governor Brian Kemp presented a proclamation recognizing March as National Peanut Month while Sen. John Wilkinson, chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, and Rep. Tom McCall, chairman of the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee presented resolutions recognizing the importance of Georgia’s peanut industry.
“Peanuts are Georgia’s official state crop, and the state boasts the largest share of peanut production in the U.S. at nearly 50 percent for the 2019 crop,” says Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission. “Georgia’s 4,500 peanut farmers contribute approximately $2 billion annually to the state and local economy.”
Sponsors and exhibitors include the Georgia Peanut Commission, National Peanut Buying Points Association, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Georgia Agribusiness Council, Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia Federal State Inspection Service, Peanut Butter & Co., Peanut Proud, Premium Peanut, The Hershey Company and the University of Georgia Peanut Team.
As part of the celebration, peanut butter valued at $14,400, was presented to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The Atlanta Community Food Bank provides food and grocery products to more than 700 nonprofit partner agencies with hunger relief programs throughout 29 counties in metro Atlanta and north Georgia. According to Ben Burgess, food sourcing specialist with the food bank, the need for food assistance is not going away.
“A recent study of our service area showed that 80,600 people are served each week by programs supported through the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Peanut butter is a very nutritious and important product to those clients because it has a stable shelf life,” Burgess says. “One jar can make several meals for a family or individual in need. This donation will help the nearly 20 percent of Georgian residents and the one in four children who are food insecure in the state.”
Coincidentally, March is National Nutrition Month – a great time to recognize the nutritional value of peanuts. One serving of peanuts is a good source of protein, vitamin E, niacin, folate, phosphorus and magnesium. Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat.