Ford kicks off annual peanut butter drive

Northwest Ford dealers are teaming up with Ford Motor Company Fund to collect jars of peanut butter from May 6-15 to help food banks meet the summer demand for nutritious, kid-friendly foods.

The peanut butter drive is in response to the increased demand for this important staple during the summer months, when many children lose access to free or reduced school meal programs. It is estimated nearly 24 percent of children are unsure how their next meal will be provided, and when school is out during the summer months, local food banks carry a larger responsibility to feed kids. Peanut butter is a great food for children due to its high protein content, but it is difficult for food banks to acquire in adequate quantities.

Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, will be kicking off the drive by collecting donations at the Saturday, May 6, Mariners game against the Texas Rangers. Fans attending the game are encouraged to bring unopened jars of peanut butter to Safeco Field.

During the drive, people can bring peanut butter donations to their local Ford dealers, including Bowen Scarff Ford Lincoln, 1157 Central Ave. N. in Kent. Those unable to donate in person can also give online at fordfeedskids.org by clicking on the food bank of their choice to make a cash donation.

“Children cannot learn if they’re hungry,” Larry Gregerson, program manager for Ford Fund operations in the Pacific Northwest, said in a media release. “Ford Fund and Ford dealers support child hunger initiatives so that every child has a chance to learn, grow and realize their potential.”

Since 2014, the drive has collected more than 100,000 pounds of peanut butter, feeding thousands of kids throughout the summer. It’s a key part of Ford Focus on Child Hunger, a five-state campaign in the Pacific Northwest by Ford dealers to support their community food banks and to make sure no child goes hungry.

Ford Focus on Child Hunger is one of many hunger-relief activities supported by Ford Fund across the United States, including a nationwide fleet of 60 Ford Mobile Food Pantries that delivered more than three million meals last year. Ford Fund supports Meals on Wheels in several locations, including the annual Holiday Meals on Wheels program for seniors in Detroit. Ford Motor Company Fund has provided five vehicles over a five-year period to The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division and increased support this year for the annual Bed & Bread Radiothon that provides meals to hungry people across the area. The Ford Volunteer Corps is also on the job year round sorting and packing food at food banks, and preparing and serving meals at shelters and soup kitchens.

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