Food drive collects over 600 jars for Etowah Food Bank

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To help address hunger in the community, and in celebration of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day on April 2, Gadsden Regional Medical Center donated more than 600 jars of peanut butter to the Etowah Community Food Bank.

The peanut butter was donated by Gadsden Regional’s employees, medical staff members, board members and community partners during the recent Jars of Love Peanut Butter Drive. Key community partners included Modern Woodmen of America – Morgan Lavender, Morrison Healthcare, Osborn Brothers Inc., and CDG Engineers & Associates Inc.

According to United Way of Etowah County, approximately 17 percent of adults and over 22 percent of children experience food insecurity in Etowah County, which results in a struggle to put food on the table. The Jars of Love Peanut Butter Drive was launched to help support individuals who are facing food insecurity, which is a social determinant of health.

“Food insecurity has a significant impact on a person’s overall health and wellbeing,” said FACHE and GRMC Chief Executive Officer Mark Dooley. “Through our Jars of Love Peanut Butter Drive, we are working to help fight hunger in our community. Our generous employees and community partners really stepped up to be sure we could stock the shelves at our partnering food bank here in Etowah County.”

Peanut butter is one of the most requested items for food banks because it is highly nutritious and has a long shelf life. Unfortunately, many food banks in America report it is also one of the least donated food items.

Other foods commonly needed most by food banks include cereal, individual packs of oatmeal and grits, macaroni and cheese, chunky soups, canned chicken, ham, or tuna, rice and instant potatoes.

“We are so thankful to be the recipient from the Jars of Love Peanut Butter Drive that Gadsden Regional Medical Center and their employees have partnered with us on,” said Etowah County Food Bank Executive Director Marie Johnson. “This generous donation from their staff and local businesses will help support multiple partner agencies including Salvation Army, Etowah Baptist Mission Center, and Catholic Center of Concern. We purchase food for these partners and also provide them food from all food drives.”

Additional donations can be coordinated directly through the Etowah Community Food Bank by contacting Marie Johnson at 256-504-2568 or emailing etowahfoodbank@gmail.com.

Submitted by Will Mackey, Gadsden Regional Medical Center.

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