It’s Peanut Butter-Jelly Time!

Mary Swikle, Columnist

February is Glenbard West’s month to sponsor the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry. Unlike ever before, this year’s food drive is narrowed down to focus on collecting jars of peanut butter and jelly. Donations of PB & J or monetary contributions can be dropped off in your second period classroom — every teacher has been given paper bags for filling! The drive will continue until February 16. Our school-wide goal is to collect 1000 jars of peanut butter and 1000 jars of jelly before the end. The class collecting the most jars will receive a prize from student council as a gift for their fabulous efforts.

In lieu of traditional canned goods, Hilltoppers will instead provide the Food Pantry with the two items that are consistently at the very top of their list. But why peanut butter and jelly?

Executive Director of the Food Pantry, Susan Papierski, was ecstatic to hear of our school’s plans due to the constant high demand for the product. She believes that peanut butter is so desirable due to its durability, functionality, and universal appeal. “Peanut butter is full of protein,” Papierski stated, “and it’s a great all-purpose item.” Able to remain on a shelf without refrigeration for months– and even years– on end, the gooey goodness of nut butter can serve families and individuals in our hometown area for extended periods of time.

The ability to sit without refrigeration also means they are great for school lunches; according to Papierski, “big kids can eat it, little kids can eat it, and even adults can eat it.” Approximately 150-200 families visit the Food Pantry each week, and of the six towns it serves, consistently 24% of people the Pantry aids come from Glen Ellyn.

“No matter what, we want to make sure that we offer healthy, protein-rich foods,” according to Papierski. If we succeed and meet our school wide goal of 1000 jars of peanut butter and 1000 jars of jelly, we will be feeding around 800-1000 families a month. This covers families from our county, our town, and even our school. So why wait? It’s peanut butter- jelly time!