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Peanut butter and jelly program helps hungry kids in summer

Date: 7/25/2014

HOLYOKE – Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple of the American diet, but for some area children, it can be the difference between a meal and going hungry.
Providence Ministries for the Needy (PMN) re-introduced its Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Initiative this summer after a six-year hiatus, Christine Burns, director of development and special projects, explained during an interview with Reminder Publications.

“We provide a nutritious, culturally appropriate meal at lunchtime at Kate’s Kitchen and send children home with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner in case they don’t have any other options,” Burns said.
Jasmine Lugo, kitchen manager at Kate’s Kitchen, added that the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches do not need to be refrigerated which makes it an ideal meal that is also healthy.
“We serve 50 to 75 children each day at lunch and we’ve seen a need for these sandwiches,” Lugo said.
Individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to consider taking a morning to make the 50 sandwiches, which need to be individually wrapped and delivered by 11 a.m. to Kate’s Kitchen.
“Since the initiative just started, we have been thankful for the generosity of the Holyoke Youth Task Force and individuals including Peggy McDonough and Greg Vigillio,” Burns said.
For more information on signing up for a day to donate sandwiches, contact Burns at 536-9109. The initiative runs through Labor Day.
Burns added that the sandwich initiative will be re-evaluated in the fall since younger children not enrolled in school come to the lunchtime meal with an adult and may need an evening meal.
“Since some children have no where to get a meal at dinner time, the protein and fiber from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is beneficial since they can eat it at their convenience,” Burns said.
Burns noted that since some families struggle to provide an evening meal, the sandwiches can be crucial to a child not going to bed hungry.
For more information on PMN, visit or visit PMN’s Facebook page.