'Peanut Butter & Jam Slam' kicks off March 18

Organizers seek participants to vie for challenge title

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BENNINGTON — United Way of Bennington County and Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging (SVCOA) have teamed up to hold Bennington County's third annual "Peanut Butter & Jam Slam," a friendly, competitive food drive challenge designed to help local food shelves during low supply months.

"The PB&J slam has been held in Bennington County for the last few years, and has been very successful in rallying community groups, teams, classes, organizations and businesses, among others, to collect peanut butter and jelly - two of the most requested items, for local food banks," Caprice Hover, executive director of United Way of Rutland County, said in a release. "We are optimistic for another strong campaign again this year, and hope both past and new groups will join the challenge." Hover will be coordinating the challenge this year.

The "Peanut Butter & Jam Slam" will begin on March 18 and run through April 2. The challenge is open to any Bennington County groups, and collected items will go to benefit a number of Bennington County food distribution centers including HIS Pantry, BROC Community Food Shelf, The Kitchen Cupboard, Arlington Food Shelf and the Manchester Community Cupboard.

The initiative has collected nearly 5,500 jars of peanut butter and jam since its inception in 2017. Past challenge winners include the Arlington Lions Club in 2017, and Fisher Elementary School of Arlington in 2018.

"At the conclusion of the challenge, we'll announce a `PB&J Slam' champion who will receive a plaque in recognition of their efforts," said Hover. "We're excited to see who steps up to the challenge and takes a shot at the title. We're even more eager to see how the combined efforts of all participants make an impact for our local food shelves."

Groups interested in participating should contact Hover at caprice@uwrutlandcounty.org or 802-773-7477.

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