The South Carolina Peanut Board has delivered a donation of 7,000, 12-ounce jars of peanut butter to Harvest Hope Food Bank, 2220 Shop Road in Columbia.

Denise Holland, Harvest Hope CEO, along with Hugh Weathers, South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, and Brad Boozer, executive director of the South Carolina Peanut Board, were on hand to welcome the shipment to the Food Bank warehouse. From there the peanut butter will be distributed to more than 400 non-profit member agencies in the 20 counties of central South Carolina served by Harvest Hope.

November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, so what better way for the South Carolina Peanut Board to celebrate than to provide a nutritious and satisfying donation of what many consider a staple — like bread and milk. Peanuts and peanut butter are packed with energy, protein, and all kinds of vitamins and minerals. That’s especially important to those in the state who are nutritionally at risk.

Commissioner Weathers said, “I deeply appreciate this collaborative effort between the South Carolina Peanut Board and Harvest Hope. Partnerships like this along with dollars and volunteers help ensure that everyone in South Carolina has enough to eat and that no one goes to bed hungry.”

“We are seeing more and more hungry families and individuals lining up each day desperate for the most basic of nutritional necessities, and it is wonderful the South Carolina Peanut Board has recognized that need and provided this staple food,” said Harvest Hope Chief Executive Officer Denise Holland. “As Commissioner Weathers said, these partnerships are essential to us to make sure we can continue to provide for the suffering in our community even as their numbers increase.”

Harvest Hope Food Bank, which began in 1981 as an emergency food box program, is now a regional distribution program that collects, stores, and distributes food and related items to more qualified agencies engaged in feeding needy, elderly and ill families and children throughout central South Carolina.

“Harvest Hope is able to put 98 cents of every dollar toward providing food to the community,” Holland said. “From food drives and food delivery to community education and awareness, our staff works hard to oversee the daily operations of Harvest Hope and to meet the needs of the growing number of men, women and children in our area who will go to bed hungry tonight. We deeply appreciate the South Carolina Peanut Board’s generous donation.”

Americans eat about three pounds of peanut butter per person every year. At that rate, the South Carolina Peanut Board donation would be enough peanut butter to satisfy over 1,700 nutritionally at-risk people in South Carolina for an entire year.

South Carolina growers are expected to harvest about 47,000 acres of peanuts this year, according to the South Carolina Field Office of USDA Ag Statistics. That’s enough peanuts to make almost 1.4 billion peanut butter sandwiches.