Merit Health hosts second-annual peanut butter drive

Published 2:56 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Merit Health Natchez is helping fight hunger, one jar of peanut butter at a time.

Over this week, the hospital is collecting jars of peanut butter — or any other healthy nut butter such as almond or sunflower seed — to give to local food banks.

“This year, we are extending the invitation to participate to our local businesses, civic organizations, etc.,” said Kay Ketchings, Director of Marketing at Merit. “The mayor is on board with the City of Natchez having a drop off location at City Hall” in addition to other drop off locations at Merit Health’s information desk and Outpatient Therapy Services, located on the first floor of the Doctor’s Pavilion.

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“We have approximately 400 jars from our employees as of today. Our goal is 1,500,” Ketchings said.

Why peanut butter?

“To fight hunger and advance our purpose of helping people get well and live healthier,” Merit Health Natchez and other CHS-affiliated hospitals are gathering jars of peanut butter — one of the least donated items given to food banks across the U.S., though it is nutritious, high-protein and shelf-stable, hospital officials shared.

Peanut butter also happens to be a kid-friendly and popular food item that is easy to buy.

Local donations go to the Natchez Stewpot, First Assembly of God and Pilgrim Baptist church’s food banks.

Donations must be in plastic jars — no glass.

“Access to nutritious food significantly affects overall health and well-being,” hospital officials said in a press release. “Thank you for your generosity and support in the fight against hunger in our community!”