Junior Women’s League of Smithfield Provisional Members Exceed Goal in Peanut Butter Collection for Children and Add Blessing Boxes
Smithfield, N.C. – The Junior Women’s League of Smithfield’s Spring Provisional class set a goal to collect 3,300 jars of peanut butter for Johnston County Public Schools’ students in the local BackPack Buddies program. This program provides children from low-income households with nutritious, kid-friendly groceries for the weekend when free school lunches and breakfasts are not provided. An astounding 4,932 jars of peanut butter of every size were collected through 14 Official Peanut Butter Buddies Donation Stations, numerous donation drives, and monetary donations from businesses and community members alike.
With so many local small businesses, public institutions, Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) school clubs, community members, Girl Scout troops, grocery stores, and JWL members joining them in their efforts, their goal was completely blown out of the water. Because of this overwhelming generosity, the Spring Provisional class and their mentors were able to expand the distribution of peanut butter to 1,167 Johnston County children in Backpack Buddies programs in 28 JCPS schools (including Title I schools) over the last few weeks. To further break that down, JWL of Smithfield had the means to provide this shelf-stable superfood, offering more than 30 essential vitamins and nutrients, to nearly an additional 400 children in need. This impacted 23 of the 24 Johnston County elementary schools with Backpack Buddies programs in place, which includes 1 middle school student body. This additional supply also provided for 5 Johnston County middle schools, of which includes 1 high school student body. My Kid’s Club, a JWL partner organization, also received a donation of 89 jars of peanut butter for the 70 school-aged children who will attend their Summer program.
Guidance counselors at every school have indicated that the impact JWL’s Peanut Butter Buddies drive will have on these children over the course of this summer and into the next school year is quite significant and expressed their appreciation for these donations. Likewise, the Junior Women’s League of Smithfield is grateful for the community’s tremendous support of our 2022 Peanut Butter Buddies Drive.
JWL’s Fall Provisional class expanded on the previous provisional class’ Blessing Box project, small pantries stocked with free food and personal care items for people in need that are able to be accessed at any time. They went on to build and install two new Blessing Boxes in Clayton at Clayton Fire Department’s Fire Station 1 on W. Horne Street and at Fire Station 2 on NC Hwy 42 East. The Fall Provisional class also coordinated multiple successful food drives at JWL’s Touch-A-Truck and Ask a FarmHER events, as well as among members and some local businesses. They reached out to area churches and other organizations to donate supplies to stock and replenish the boxes on a bi-weekly basis. Members of the general public are also encouraged to contribute items at the following locations:
Benson Fire Department, located at 313 S. Elm Street
Clayton Fire Department, Station 1 located at 325 W. Horne Street
Clayton Fire Department, Station 2 located at 800 NC Hwy 42 East
Kenly Fire Department, located at 101 W. First Street
Meadow Fire Department, located at 7409 NC-50 South (Benson)
North Side Fire & Rescue, Station 1 located at 6483 Covered Bridge Road (Archer Lodge/Clayton)
North Side Fire & Rescue, Station 2 located at 2375 Thanksgiving Fire Department Rd. (Selma)
Pine Level Fire Department, located at 104 W. Main Street
Selma Fire Department, located at 201 N. Webb Street
Smithfield Fire Department, located at 111 S. Fourth Street
“We are so proud of our provisional members and their work to help those members of our population who experience food insecurity, especially during this time in which the needs have been so apparent,” said Sharon Turner, VP of Community Outreach and Engagement. “We invite people who would like to support our Blessing Box initiative to contribute non-perishable food and personal care items to the boxes directly, or to make a donation on the JWL website.”
JWL will be accepting applications from prospective new members beginning June 7 through July 31, 2022. Partial member scholarships will be available at that time as well. Interested women ages 22 and older who’d like to make a difference in Johnston County are encouraged to attend New Member Interest Meetings, the details of which can be found on our website and social media. For more information about the Junior Women’s League of Smithfield and its initiatives, please visit www.JWLSmithfield.com or email JWLSmithfield@gmail.com.
About the Junior Women’s League of Smithfield:
The Junior Women's League of Smithfield (JWL) is a non-profit organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action of trained volunteers. Our organization was founded in Smithfield, but is dedicated to the betterment of all communities within Johnston County. Since the League’s establishment in February 2016, JWL has awarded over $130,000 in Community Impact Grants to Johnston County nonprofit organizations and Student Scholarships and completed more than 13,600 hours of community service.