Peanut Butter Too Expensive for Food Banks

Categories: Edible News

If you didn't already have your concerns about food banks -- considering that they can be stocked with shit you wouldn't want to eat -- here's more unsettling news.

Unseasonably warm temperatures in the South wreaked havoc on this year's peanut crop. So peanut butter -- one of the few healthy staples of food banks -- has become too expensive for many aid groups to stock, according to USA Today.

Prices of the protein-rich legume spread -- said to be one the most requested item at food banks -- have shot up 30 percent recently.

Costs might continue to rise: Much of the farmland that didn't suffer weather damage has been converted to more profitable crops, the paper reports.

Relief groups nationwide are reeling from the increase, as they struggle to find inexpensive -- and nutritious -- ways to feed increasing numbers of hungry families.

And these organizations can't rely on private citizens to do that: When it comes to giving to food banks, many Americans unload their pantry junk rather than donate healthy meals and ingredients.

The peanut problem is part of a broader trend, in which most foodstuffs have become exponentially more expensive in recent years.

Because of this, some charities expect that they might only be able to donate half as many meals and grocery packs as in 2010.

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My Voice Nation Help

A hungry kid will eat "anything" (ie: rice, beans, lentils, veggies), not only PB. Seems to me there is a lot of drama around a "staple" product that usually has hydrogenated oil and tons of sugar. It's time we redefined what a "staple" food should be.


What is the exponent for a 30% increase?

Nancy Duggan
Nancy Duggan

Is there a more affordable protein out there for those of us donating to food banks?  Beans and rice, perhaps?


Hi there, Nancy!

Thanks for your feedback. From what I've read -- and seen in supermarkets -- all food prices have gone up, but dried beans and rice still seem to be reasonable. Many aid centers have asked that donors give items such as legumes and whole grains, as they are healthier options than ramen or sugary cereal(and about the same cost.) 

The reason that peanut butter has been such a staple, though, is because most kids -- even ones with finicky palates -- will eat it, and it doesn't conflict with most religious dietary restrictions. However, I'm sure any donation would be greatly appreciated.