Peanut butter recall 'devastating' Southern Arizona food banks
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Sep. 26, 2012
Reporter: Kevin Keen
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Check your pantry. Nationwide recalls of peanut butter products are underway and expanding. Several more companies voluntarily recalled their items Wednesday because they may be contaminated with salmonella. The massive recalls are affecting families and stores and also having a huge impact on food banks.
At the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona in Tucson, staff are playing it safe by returning at least 57,000 jars of peanut butter to manufacturers. Most come from the company Sunland. It’s food its customers need, but will have to live without.
“The impact of a recall like this is just devastating to us,” public relations manager Jack Parris told 9 On Your Side.
Devastating because the voluntary recalls mean the Community Food Bank and its five centers will lose their entire supply of peanut butter.
9 On Your Side reporter Kevin Keen asked Parris, “Have you ever seen anything like this?” “Never have,” he answered. “We’ve had peanut butter and hamburger scares before with salmonella, but nothing of this size.”
Peanut butter is a food bank staple.
“We put a jar of peanut butter in every box because it's nutritious and it is full of protein,” Parris explained. “People can make that stretch for a long period of time.”
Now, the food bank is asking for donations so it can buy peanut butter that's safe for the people who need it. A three-month supply is 66,000 jars, according to staff, costing $75,000.
“Normally, we might do a traditional food drive, but that takes months and weeks to collect that much,” Parris said. “We know where we can go and get good peanut butter. We just need the money to do it.”
To donate to the food bank's special fund, visit its website and click on the orange box titled “Peanut Butter Recall Donations” near the upper left hand corner. You can also mail a check to Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, P.O. Box 26727, Tucson, AZ 85726-6727.