Washington Trust Donates 11 Tons Of Peanut Butter To Food Banks

Over Two Decades Rhode Island Bank Has Collected 143 Tons Of The Popular Spread

Keith Griffin

July 7, 2020

MICHAEL GEOGHEGAN, manager at the Governor Francis Branch of Washington Trust, delivers his branch’s peanut butter collection to the RI Community Food Bank.

The late performer Harry Chapin used to sing about 30,000 pounds of bananas. It’s time for Washington Trust Co. to craft a new tune called, “Eleven Tons of Peanut Butter.”

Based in Westerly, Rhode Island, The Washington Trust Company collected approximately 22,000 pounds, or 11 tons of peanut butter during the bank’s 20th annual Peanut Butter Drive to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and 10 local food pantries across Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. This year’s online donations to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank totaled $9,740, which Washington Trust matched dollar for dollar.

Since launching the drive in 2001, Washington Trust has collected more than 143 tons of peanut butter—enough to provide a sandwich to 4.5 million people.

“Because this year’s drive overlapped with the COVID-19 pandemic, we delivered peanut butter as it was collected to food pantries that had an immediate need, promoted our online donation link to allow people to support the drive remotely, and matched those online donations,” explained Edward O. Handy III, Washington Trust chairman and CEO. “We are thrilled with the outpouring of support from our employees, customers, and generous community members,” added Handy, who also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 12.4% of Rhode Islanders (54,200 households) are food insecure, meaning they are often unsure where their next meal will come from due to a lack of resources. During this unprecedented time, there is even more of a need for food, and the Rhode Island Food Bank is distributing 42% more food now than last year. Peanut butter is particularly sought out by food pantries because it has a long shelf life, seven grams of protein in one serving and 30 nutrients and phytonutrients.

Founded in 1800, Washington Trust is the oldest community bank in the nation.

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