Hospital, community team up for successful Jars of Love effort

Published 11:59 am Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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NATCHEZ – Through the efforts of the employees of Merit Health Natchez; local businesses; physicians; the City of Natchez; civic organizations and individuals, 1,539 jars of peanut butter were collected during March to help alleviate hunger in our community by stocking the shelves of local food pantries.

These Jars of Love were distributed locally to the Natchez First Assembly of God Food Pantry, Pilgrim Baptist Church Food Pantry, Staples Food Pantry, through Catholic Charities, and the Natchez Stewpot. Peanut butter is a sought after item for food banks because of its high nutritional value and long shelf life. Yet, it is one of the least donated items.

According to Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the United States, 18.5 percent of residents in our community struggle to put food on the table. The Jars of Love Peanut Butter Drive was launched to help support individuals who are facing food insecurity, which is a social determinant of health.

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“I am beyond elated at the response we had to this drive from our employees and the community. We surpassed our goal of 1,500 jars; and I am so proud of our employees and physicians, as well as our generous, compassionate community members,” said Kevin Samrow, CEO of Merit Health Natchez