What power does peanut butter hold?
Sure it’s tasty and sticky, but the beloved food is also a staple in helping people fight hunger in the Houston area. This month’s episode of Here to Help explores this uniquely sweet service opportunity.
In north Houston, a small factory space owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in operation for only 30–40 days per year. Seeing the need of hungry people in the greater Houston area, the Church teamed up with the Houston Food Bank in 2004 to allow the facility to be used for the remaining 10–11 months of the year to make peanut butter—one of the most in-demand food items for families in that area.
The food bank donates the peanuts for production, and corporate volunteers from all over the area volunteer their time in 4-hour shifts to make the peanut butter. Since 2004, about 100,000 jars of peanut butter have been made and distributed to over 50,000 needy families every year in Houston.
A volunteer commented, “All of the men and women who volunteer their time have a great sense of satisfaction when they leave here that they’ve volunteered a few hours of their time to feed people. That’s huge.”
Another volunteer said, “The real enjoyment of it is being able to help somebody that you don’t necessarily know—you’re not expecting to get anything back from that person.”
To date, the Houston Food Bank has produced over 1 million jars of peanut butter in the facility and helped countless families on their way to fighting hunger.
A volunteer summed it up perfectly: “It makes you feel really good about being human.”
For more information on the Houston peanut butter project, listen to this episode of Here to Help.
To learn about service opportunities in your own community and beyond, visit www.volunteer.lds.org