ATHENS COUNTY CHILDREN SERVICES KICKS OFF EIGHTH ANNUAL PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY PROJECT

By Robin Webb

June 9, 2015

ATHENS COUNTY CHILDREN SERVICES KICKS OFF EIGHTH ANNUAL PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY PROJECT

ATHENS, Ohio – June 9, 2015 - June 11th kicks off the eighth annual Peanut Butter & Jelly Project in Athens County. The supplemental summer nutrition program started in 2008 and is facilitated by the Athens County Children Services’ School Outreach team. The overall goal is to address food insecurity during the summer months for Athens County students who rely on free or discounted meals during the academic school year. The PB&J project is an eight week long program that provides a loaf of bread, jar of peanut butter, and jar of jelly for every child in the home for families on a weekly basis. Because of a massive food drive by Ohio University’s Greek Life, ACCS will be offering canned food each week as well.

Families can go to one of 7 locations around Athens County on Thursdays, starting June 11th- August 6th at 11:00 am. Families can stop at Alexander, The Plains, Amesville, and Trimble elementary schools, as well as, New Marshfield Picnic Shelter, Coolville Public Library, and the Nelsonville Park.

At some sites there are other unique things going on as well.  For example, the Logan food bank has teamed with the Trimble PB&J project. On Thursdays the food bank will come to the site and give out boxed food to families that have gone through the application process.  In Coolville, the librarians and school principal have started a reading program with a raffle that the kids can enter on PBJ day. The library is a summer lunch site and has become a hub of community activity.

The School Outreach Caseworkers coordinate the PBJ project, and within the last three years expanded to seven operating sites. The PBJ project has become a community wide effort, with the generous support of community groups, such as the Athens Professionals for Philanthropy, CFI, Jackie O’s, Snowville Creamery, Chase Banks, Peoples Bank, Community Bank and the OU Credit Union, and the weekly assistance from dedicated volunteers. On a weekly basis bread is purchased by ACCS as well as other goods when donations have run out. In 2014, this community wide effort provided nutrition for 3,476 children throughout the course of the summer.

ACCS will be accepting donations of peanut butter, jelly and cash contributions throughout the summer. For more information on the Peanut Butter & Jelly Project and how you can get involved, please contact Athens County Children Services at (740)-592-3061.

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