Washington Trust collects 3.4 tons of peanut butter during annual drive

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, PHIL MASON of ServiceMaster by Mason; Elizabeth Eckel, chief marketing officer for The Washington Trust Co.; and Beth Markowski-Roop of ServiceMaster by Mason pose with donated peanut butter at Washington Trust's Westerly Branch as ServiceMaster by Mason delivers boxes of peanut butter to Washington Trust's 19th annual Peanut Butter Drive. / COURTESY THE WASHINGTON TRUST CO.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, PHIL MASON of ServiceMaster by Mason; Elizabeth Eckel, chief marketing officer for The Washington Trust Co.; and Beth Markowski-Roop of ServiceMaster by Mason pose with donated peanut butter at Washington Trust's Westerly Branch as ServiceMaster by Mason delivers boxes of peanut butter to Washington Trust's 19th annual Peanut Butter Drive. / COURTESY THE WASHINGTON TRUST CO.

WESTERLY — About 6,800 pounds, or 3.4 tons, of peanut butter were collected for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and 12 area food pantries across Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut during The Washington Trust Co.’s 19th annual Peanut Butter Drive, according to Washington Trust Thursday.

The drive kicked off in February at an employee appreciation event where more than 2,600 pounds of peanut butter were collected. Washington Trust employees helped with the collection effort and bins were set up at each of the bank’s 23 locations to accept peanut butter donations from the public.

“Our employees have kept up this tradition for 19 years, working alongside their communities, local businesses, schools, and nonprofit organizations to collect peanut butter for families in need,” said Washington Trust Chairman and CEO Edward O. Handy III in a prepared statement. “Peanut butter can be expensive for families and is one of the most sought-after items at food pantries.”

Washington Trust also said it has collected more than 260,000 pounds, or 130 tons of peanut butter since the company launched the drive in 2001. That amount of peanut butter is enough to make 4.1 million sandwiches, said Handy, who also serves as president of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s board of directors.

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THE WASHINGTON TRUST CO.’S Jen Ansay, second from left, poses with staffers at Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center as she delivers peanut butter collected during Washington Trust’s 19th annual Peanut Butter Drive. / COURTESY THE WASHINGTON TRUST CO.

The food banks supported by the drive were:

  • Comprehensive Community Action Program in Cranston
  • Coventry Food Bank
  • Good Neighbors Soup Kitchen, Food Pantry and Day Shelter in East Providence
  • Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale in South Kingstown
  • Jonnycake Center of Westerly
  • New Hope Chapel in Richmond
  • North Kingstown Food Pantry
  • Operation Stand Down Rhode Island in Johnston
  • Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center in Pawcatuck, Conn.
  • Rhode Island Center Assisting Those in Need in Charlestown
  • Tri-County Community Action Agency in Johnston
  • The WARM Center in Westerly

Local businesses and schools that supported this year’s drive include Providence Business News, Rhode Island Philharmonic School, ServiceMaster by Mason, Worldpay and the Saint Philomena School in Portsmouth.

James Bessette is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Research@PBN.com.