For the third year in a row — Liverpool Christian Church is calling on the community to “spread the love” with peanut butter and jelly.
After collecting more than 500 jars of each in the past two years, lead pastor Wayne Wagner says they will keep the name, PBJ 500, but this is the year they will aim to gather 1,000 of each.
“We’ve gotten close over the last couple of years with our goal only being 500 and so, I thought why not bump it up?” Wagner shared.
Bumping it up means more help for the Food Bank of Central New York which sees a drop in overall donations during the summer season. Every year, people typically lean toward making donations of food and money around the holidays.
“A family that gets to sit and share meal together, it’s a very intimate time for them. They get to talk about the day. Typically, parents make their kids put their phones down or their device, or whatever, and they talk!” Wagner said. “We thought, if we could encourage that and promote that somehow and fight hunger in our community that would be a good things for us to do.”
If simply giving back does not yet have you convinced to get involved — there is an added incentive this year. Every Tuesday during the month of July, anyone who brings a jar of peanut butter or jelly to Chick-fil-A will get a free ice cream cone, or as the restaurant trademarks it, an “Icedream Cone.”
“It’s beautifully simple, right?” said Jimmer Szatkowski, owner of Chick-fil-A Cicero. “And everybody loves peanut butter and jelly. It’s an easy thing to buy. Oftentimes people have extra ones in their homes anyway and so, we’re just blessed to be part of it.”
Wagner says he hopes people all over Central New York join the PBJ 500. On top of this effort, he hopes this encourages people to take action in other ways to give back and help others.
“To anybody who’s thinking about helping people in anyway, stop thinking about it. Stop thinking about how you’re going to do it and go do something,” Wagner said. “Go help people. Be whatever you can be to somebody.”
NewsChannel is joining the PBJ 500 this year and will be a drop-off location for those interested in contributing new jars of peanut butter and jelly. A drop-off box will be located inside the front door of our station located at 5904 Bridge St., East Syracuse. Peanut butter and jelly donations will only be accepted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday starting July 2 and ending July 31.
–Liverpool Christian Church, 2021 Cold Springs Road (Route 370), Liverpool
-NewsChannel 9, 5904 Bridge St., East Syracuse (See above for drop-off hours.)
-Chick-fil-A, 7916 Brewerton Rd, Cicero, NY
-Northwest Family YMCA, 8040 River Road, Baldwinsville
-Timber Banks, 8184 River Road, Baldwinsville
-Café at 407, 407 Tulip St., Liverpool
-Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, 510 Oswego St, Liverpool, NY
*It’s recommended you call your preferred location for business hours before driving there to drop off jars of peanut butter and jelly.