One of the most requested items at food pantries is quickly disappearing off the shelves.
A nationwide shortage has caused the price of peanut butter to increase by 20% to 40% over the past few months. Executive Director of Christ’s Table Keely Warden said the organization was able to purchase a case of peanut butter from the Mid-Ohio Foodbank for about a dollar in July, but recently the cost has jumped to over $10.
"It’s a staple to us," said Warden. "We go through an average of ten jars every time we go to do lunch. We do chili, and you can’t have chili without peanut butter, so ten jars of peanut butter is a true commodity, and it’s really hard to function without that."
Warden said she’s modifying the menu to accomodate for the shortage of peanut butter. Food pantries across the country are experiencing similar problems.
"It was a very dry summer, one of the worst in decades, for Georgia and Texas, and there were also some harvesting problems with the peanuts," said Warden. "The farmers in Texas and Georgia are planting less peanuts. They’re planting more profitable products like corn and cotton."
Christ’s Table is reaching out to the community for help. Warden said monetary donations are actually more beneficial than food items, because the organization buys its food at a discount price.