LOCKPORT, N.Y. - In a season of food drives, there's one that stands out. Peter Robinson is a New York State Court Officer who, along with a group of dedicated volunteers, has made collecting as much peanut butter as possible his mission.
"A judge told me once, if you keep it simple, more people will get it, and that's exactly what happened, on our first flier we said, we just need jars of peanut butter and jelly and fluff please," said Robinson.
It was an idea that was just nutty enough to work. Last year, the first year, the group collected 1,500 items. Now, in its second year, the project has collected that amount already, with two weeks left in the drive.
Gary Chapman of Uncle Leo's Pizza in Lockport said the pizzeria was one of the original drop-off points last year, back when there were only two or three. Now there are nearly 100 participating.
But Papa Leo's pizza is having no trouble filling its bins. Perhaps it has to do with some creative advertising.
The group only donates to small food pantries who have trouble keeping peanut butter on their shelves. Because of the shortage, and because peanut butter keeps so well and packs so much nutrition, the group decided it was the perfect thing to collect to feed hungry families, especially children. That's where the jelly and the fluff comes in:
"If you're going to get the kids to eat stuff, do they like broccoli, do they like spinach, probably not." said Robinson. "But do they like peanut butter? Maybe. Do they like peanut butter and fluff? Definitely."
There's another thing that sets this drive apart: they absolutely will not accept cash.
"All we really want is the product so we can take it to the other people," said Robinson.
The drive runs until December 3rd.
For more information, visit the group's facebook page.
You can also contact Pete Robinson at 716-510-7108 or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.