0

Tornado victims receive help from Georgia peanut industry

Photo by Jeff Sabin

Photo by Jeff Sabin

TIFTON -- The American peanut industry has organized the largest campaign in history to get nutritious peanut butter, peanut products and fresh water to the tornado victims in six states. Uniting behind Peanut Proud, the 501(c3) humanitarian arm of the American peanut industry, deliveries continue to be made to food distribution centers around the devastated areas.

The Peanut Proud Board dispatched different teams from the peanut industry to deliver from the American peanut industry roasted peanuts, peanut butter and peanut candies to the tornado disaster regions of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Teams delivered 1,200 backpacks filled with peanut products and school supplies to students in Ringgold, Hackleberg, Ala., and Smithville, Miss.

TIFTON -- The American peanut industry has organized the largest campaign in history to get nutritious peanut butter, peanut products and fresh water to the tornado victims in six states. Uniting behind Peanut Proud, the 501(c3) humanitarian arm of the American peanut industry, deliveries continue to be made to food distribution centers around the devastated areas.

The Peanut Proud Board dispatched different teams from the peanut industry to deliver from the American peanut industry roasted peanuts, peanut butter and peanut candies to the tornado disaster regions of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Teams delivered 1,200 backpacks filled with peanut products and school supplies to students in Ringgold, Hackleberg, Ala., and Smithville, Miss.

TIFTON -- The American peanut industry has organized the largest campaign in history to get nutritious peanut butter, peanut products and fresh water to the tornado victims in six states. Uniting behind Peanut Proud, the 501(c3) humanitarian arm of the American peanut industry, deliveries continue to be made to food distribution centers around the devastated areas.

The Peanut Proud Board dispatched different teams from the peanut industry to deliver from the American peanut industry roasted peanuts, peanut butter and peanut candies to the tornado disaster regions of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Teams delivered 1,200 backpacks filled with peanut products and school supplies to students in Ringgold, Hackleberg, Ala., and Smithville, Miss.

"The peanut industry response has been awesome and unbelievable," said Sally Wells, director of logistics for Birdsong Peanuts, based in Blakely. "Over $81,000 worth of peanut products has been donated along with $72,000 in cash donations and we continue to accept gifts to place product in the hands of churches and relief groups helping the regions. Peanut growers from every producing state have donated plus the National Peanut Board...that's great!"

The worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history hit seven states on April 26 and 27, killing hundreds and wiping out many small communities. Hardest hit were the rural crossroads of Mississippi, mid-sized cities in Alabama and many rural communities in North Georgia and Tennessee. Another tornado outbreak recently occurred in Joplin, Mo., and the Northeast areas of Oklahoma.

"This peanut industry has a heart of gold," stated Tyron Spearman, chairman of the American Peanut Council from Georgia. "Peanuts and peanut butter are ideal products during a disaster. No refrigeration is required, it is quick energy and it is comfort food during a time of sadness. From growers, to buying stations, to shellers and manufacturers, it is amazing how much this industry cares and wants to help."

Spearman said the Peanut Proud Board in Blakely, created to rebuild the image of a great industry and town after the salmonella incident four years ago, has become the logistics team for getting the peanut products to food centers.

"It's a labor of love," states Lea Jean Manry, chairman of Peanut Proud, as she escorted a semi load of peanut butter to Tuscaloosa, Ala. "To visit the victims and towns is a heartbreaking experience. To see and feel their appreciation for the food help and assistance makes one proud of their industry support and makes you want to do more."

Wells reports that 23 pallets of peanut butter (40,000 jars), three pallets of mixed nuts and peanut candy have been delivered to Smithville, Miss., Russellville, Ala., Hamilton, Ala., Mount Hope, Ala., Hackleburg, Ala., Cullman, Ala., Jasper, Ala., Griffin and Ringgold. The project expanded this week to Joplin, Mo., and Northeast Oklahoma as a semi loaded with peanut butter will depart on Memorial Day. Wells said the success of the campaign can be contributed to the transportation teams at Early Trucking Company and Southern Ag Carriers.

"They are fantastic on the deliveries and complimentary," Well commented.

Donations of peanut products and money are being accepted at Peanut Proud, P. O. Box 624, Blakely, Ga. 39823. A major portion of funds will be used to buy peanut butter and peanut products. For information, contact Chuck Hancock at 229-723-2815 or chancock@birdsong-peanuts.com