The Mustard Seed received a nutty donation recently: 2,400 jars of peanut butter.
The massive amount of condiment, provided through an annual fundraiser by the Island Nut Roastery and Merry Maids, aims to help feed families in summer – a time when donations can be lower, but the need is often greater.
“Families need support because [their children may have received] hot lunch or breakfast programs at the school,” said Janine Boice, director of development at the Mustard Seed Street Church. “Island Nut provides healthy, nutritious, pure peanut butter … 2,400 jars, that’s enormous.”
Despite the generosity, she said, the donations will be used up fast because of the financial strain summer brings to many families.
“What happens in the summer is most of us are planning our barbecues and family vacations, and people donate less when they’re living their own lives. But when school ends, families need to tighten their budgets even more because of extra costs.”
Not only is more food needed for families who rely on school food programs, many parents need to find camps or childcare options for the summer months, putting great strain on the 5,000 families helped by Mustard Seed every month.
Among those family members, Boice said, 37 per cent are under 18.
The average monthly food hamper includes two jars of peanut butter, which means the 2,400 donated containers will be used up by the beginning of August.
“We always need donations, and if anyone is interested we can always use tuna, peanut butter and oatmeal,” Boice said. “We’re trying empower kids to not eat so much sugary cereal; but healthy honey and jam, and canned fish is welcome.”
The service provider welcomes financial donations anytime, no matter how small – for example, $47 will provide a hamper for a family for a month. For more information or to donate you can head to mustardseed.ca.