Peanut butter food drive underway

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A unique food drive started nearly eight years ago by two local boys continues this year, and members of the community can get involved.

The sixth Peanut Butter Food Drive is collecting peanut butter, nut and non-nut butter throughout the month of April. In May, the donated food will be given to Epic-Cure and St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS), both organizations in St. Augustine.

The donated items can be dropped off at either of two homes: 3072 Cypress Creek Drive North in The Players Club and 229 Royal Tern Road North in Marsh Landing. For gate access, call 904-386-6531.

Donations are also being accepted at 333 San Juan Drive and 123 S. Roscoe Blvd.

Cash donations are also being accepted via Venmo @ConnorFranco.

The Peanut Butter Food Drive began in December 2013, hosted by two brothers, fourth-grader Connor Franco and second-grader Kelland Franco.

Each year, the family invited friends and relatives to a party, and guests brought jars of peanut butter (or other butters or substitutes). Over the years, they donated the goods to Second Harvest Food Bank, BEAM and SAYS.

In 2019, the family partnered with local organizations in order to donate more peanut butter. This year, partner organizations are the Ponte Vedra Women’s Civic Alliance (PVWCA); the Do Something Club, founded by Jake Brice, Oliver Jenkins and Alexis Boselli, and the Epic-Cure Club, founded by Evan Fleischer – both at Ponte Vedra High School.

Also in 2019, SAYS was selected as recipient of the donations. After the annual party, the Peanut Butter Food Drive was able to donate 305 jars.

This year, SAYS cannot accommodate a large amount of peanut butter, so the majority will be donated to Epic-Cure, which works in food rescue, food distribution and an after-school youth program where students learn about food preparation, nutrition and sustainable practices.

Due to COVID-19, there will be no party this year, but donations will still be accepted. The PVWCA will collect throughout the month and at the general membership meeting on April 30. The Do Something Club and Epic-Cure Club will collect at the high school throughout the month.

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