Peanut butter drive to benefit Penticton food bank

Save-On-Foods holding a peanut butter drive for the Salvation Army Community Food Bank

Save-On-Foods general manager Randall Bamford is hoping to turn a sticky situation into a bonus for the Salvation Army Community Food Bank this Christmas.

Starting Friday, for one week the grocery store is donating a jar of peanut butter to the food bank for each jar customers purchase and give to the cause.

“We started this when I was in Williams Lake,” said Bamford about how he came up with the idea. “The food bank there ran an article in the local paper saying how low their inventory was at that time of year (February) but I mean it’s low all the time, and what they really need is protein, so things like tuna and peanut butter are great, so I said ‘hey, lets do a peanut butter drive.’”

Read more: Update: ‘Stunning’ support for food drive

After doing a costing the drive proved to be feasible and for that week, like they are doing here, there were jars of peanut butter at each till and customers were asked if they would like purchase one and donate it.

The response proved to be overwhelming.

“We really didn’t think it was going to take off the way it did,” recalled Bamford. “We got 1,700 jars for the food bank and we could have done more if we’d had more peanut butter, we actually ran out three times, so we’re prepared for this one.

“Every time a customer bought one and donated it to our huge stack of peanut butter that we created at the front of the store we would donate one as well right then and there. So the cashiers were walking over with two peanut butters for every customer that bought one and putting them on the pile.”

That event was so popular that Bamford’s idea peaked an interest at the corporate level and this year all 160 Save-On-Foods stores are having their own peanut butter drive.

“I’m just really hoping each one of them pulls it off, and I’m really hoping we can beat 1,700 jars at our store,” he said.

The specific item is the 500-gram smooth Western Family brand.

Manager John Rankin of the Salvation Army had one word when asked by Bamford if the drive would be something of interest.

“Great,” said Rankin, adding: “The protein is excellent, it’s a staple and people can utilize it easily. Clients are very appreciative of peanut butter.”

He also expressed his appreciation to Save-On-Foods for its efforts in helping the food bank and an especially busy time of year for the organization.

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