Organizers of the local Buddy Pack program that provides Fulton Public Schools elementary students in need with food to take home on the weekends have a plea for area residents: "We need peanut butter."
According to Alma Schmid with Central Christian Church, which coordinates Fulton's Buddy Pack program - supplied primarily through the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri - the Food Bank no longer will be sending peanut butter along with the soup, canned pasta and juice boxes that make up the bulk of the food-filled backpacks.
"Peanut butter has always been the highest priced thing, and now it's so high they're not going to send it anymore," Schmid said. "I've been calling and calling to see if we can find it cheaper somewhere."
Failing that, she is hoping local residents will help the Buddy Pack program by donating 15-18 oz. size jars of peanut butter. According to Schmid, peanut butter - which is put in the backpacks once a month - is an important staple of the program.
"You can open the jar today and make a sandwich, and then two days from now you can open the jar and get another sandwich," Schmid said. "Soup is wonderful, but it's only good for one or two meals.
"With a jar of peanut butter, you can eat on it all month."
With Fulton Public Schools' spring break coming up March 12-16, she said providing that staple is especially important to the 255 students currently utilizing the program each week.
"On March 9th we're going to send a bag home, but it won't have much in it (without the peanut butter)," Schmid said.