When Harry LaRosiliere became Plano mayor in 2013, he wanted to feed Collin County’s children who struggled with food insecurity. “People don’t think it is needed in a wealthy area like Plano,” he says. “But 1 in 5 children in Collin County is food insecure.”
He has spent the last seven years raising awareness.
Shortly after he was elected, Mayor LaRosiliere partnered with the North Texas Food Bank and began raising funds and increasing food donations. Local companies donated money to help fund weekend backpacks for elementary school children. But the mayor wanted to do more and came up with the idea to seek donations for peanut butter.
So why peanut butter? The mayor says he chose it because it is kid-friendly and high in protein.
In Sept. 2014, the mayor challenged local high schools to collect 1,000 jars of peanut butter. It was a month-long effort that resulted in 1,566 jars, with a grand total of 5,000 total jars collected. “Nothing is greater than seeing our youth supporting other youth,” he told a pep rally at John Paul II High School in Plano in 2015.
Last year, Mayor LaRosiliere and North Texas Food Bank collected more than 190,000 jars of peanut butter for food insecure children in Collin County. Other mayors from places such as Frisco, Richardson, and Wylie are also collecting donations from their residents. They are hoping to exceed that number by 30,000 jars this year for the 38,000 children in Collin County who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
For the second year, Plano Neighborhood Services is hosting the Nuttiest Neighborhood Award to help reach the 220,000 pounds of peanut butter goal. It is an award given to the neighborhood that collects the most jars per household.
“This is my last one as mayor,” Mayor LaRosiliere says. “I’d like to go out in a flurry.”
In 2019, the North Texas Food Bank had registered 133 collection sites that included public drop-off ones. It was a 14 percent increase from 2018.
Due to COVD-19, they did away with the public drop-off sites this year and instead are encouraging people to donate virtually. You can either donate cash or order peanut butter from Amazon or local retailers and have it delivered to the food bank.
So far they have raised $35,260 of the $220,000 goal for 2020.
“This is the time of year where our community comes together to spread hope with their generosity and care,” Mayor LaRosiliere said in a quote on the North Texas Food Bank’s website. “We look forward to everyone in Collin County donating peanut butter to their fellow neighbor.”
Rules and egilibity for the Nuttiest Neighborhood Award:
- Read the COVID Peanut Butter Drive Handbook
- Submit the entry form to the BEST Neighborhoods Division via email to Maria Castillo. Entry form will be open on September 1, 2020 and must be received by October 5.
- Collect peanut butter only during the month of September (Sept 1 – Sept 30, 2020)
- Collect and do any of the following:
- Donate virtually at this link and your gift will be used to purchase peanut butter for the drive. Please see instructions on how to create your neighborhood team! (most preferred)
- Direct drop off to Plano Campus donation door:
North Texas Food Bank: HEB Door
3677 Mapleshade Ln.
Plano, TX 75075
- Amazon – Order from Amazon or your grocery store and have the peanut butter delivered to the North Texas Food Bank Campus in Plano
- Collections must be for the North Texas Food Bank. North Texas Food Bank is converting $1= 1 pound/16ox jar of Peanut Butter. A receipt of your donation from the NTFB with the final weight is required to submit an application.
For more information visit North Texas Food Bank Peanut Butter Drive