June 2, 2017 – West Chester, PA – Two years ago, United Way of Chester County approached the Chester County Food Bank to see if there was a need that was going unmet. They mentioned that many kids in Chester County who received a subsidized school lunches are often home alone in the Summer and can’t cook for themselves so there is a spike in demand for peanut butter and jelly but not enough supply to last during those months. With that, the PB&J for United Way-Better Together partnership with the Chester County Food Bank was born. United Way of Chester County put out the call to action, mobilizing the community and a vast network of business partners to tackle this problem and two years later the results are staggering.
This year’s 3rd annual drive resulted in a mind blowing 23,504 pounds of peanut butter and jelly, with more donations expected to come in over the next few weeks. This total, collected by churches, schools, service organizations, and non-profits as well as small businesses, large companies and individuals, more than doubled last year’s impressive total of over 11,000 pounds. To put into perspective just how much 23,500 lbs of PB&J is, that would be the equivalent weight of six 2017 Jeep Cherokee vehicles.
United Way of Chester County’s CEO Claudia Hellebush adds, “We’re honored to shine a spotlight on this issue and do our part to fill this unmet need to address hunger issues in Chester County. Once again this community shows its generosity of action and spirit.”
The friendly competition for “PB&J Champion” heated up this year which helped drive up donation totals. The small but mighty Keller Williams-Matt Gorham Group, who was the two time defending champion, challenged the community on facebook to dethrone them for the benefit of the community. Many groups stepped up to the challenge, including Citadel who came in with over one ton of PB&J and Shire, who threw down the gauntlet with an eye popping and seemingly insurmountable total of 4,986 lbs. In dramatic fashion, the Matt Gorham Group was the final group to weigh in, and when the dust settled, they pulled off a stunning 3-peat by squeaking past Shire’s mountain of PB&J with a total of 5,058 pounds, narrowly passing Shire by a mere 72 lbs. In a show of class and sportsmanship, the Shire team stuck around to congratulate the winning team but offered these parting words: “enjoy the win, because we’re just getting started! See you next year!”
United Way of Chester County and the Chester County Food Bank teamed up again this year for the 3rd annual Community PB&J for United Way Drive. This year’s friendly competition collected more than 23,500 pounds of peanut butter & jelly. Pictured here are representatives from Shire Pharmaceuticals along with the Keller Williams-Matt Gorham Group. These top two collecting teams combined to donate over 5 tons of PB&J for the community.