ANNA - As part of its Hunger Action Month initiative, the city of Anna has joined other Collin County communities to support the North Texas Food Bank’s (NTFB) Peanut Butter Drive.


The goal of the initiative is to raise awareness about food insecurity in Collin County. Collected jars of peanut butter will be used to feed hungry families.


Peanut butter may be left outside of Anna City Hall, 111 N. Powell Parkway. Only plastic jars will be accepted.


"We appreciate the partnership," Mayor Nate Pike said to NTFB representatives during the Aug. 25 Anna City Council meeting, when he proclaimed September to be Hunger Action Month. "I know you guys are doing some great work for us in our community during these challenging times."


The peanut butter drive initiative was started in Plano in 2013. Since then, it has expanded across the county.


Last year, the food bank had a record 133 registered collection sites. This year, that number has been scaled back in an effort to encourage more virtual donations in light of the coronavirus pandemic.


According to statistics from the NTFB, more that 14 percent of Collin County residents are food insecure. This means they lack reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food. This number includes more than 44,000 children, nearly one-in-five of the county’s youth.


At the beginning of the year, local food insecurity was actually at its lowest level in years. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, that number has steadily increased.


According to August statistics from Feeding America, there are now close to one million food-insecure people across the 13-county North Texas region.


"The Anna City Council will not relent in its efforts to care for our own, and we challenge all of Collin County to get involved," Pike said in the official city proclamation.


"During the month of September, we will step up to the plate to help solve the hunger crisis in North Texas by partnering will all of Collin County to expand the annual peanut butter drive. 2020 will be a grand slam year as we seek to collect an unprecedented 220,000 pounds of peanut butter."


The peanut butter drive runs through the end of the month. For more information visit the city of Anna’s website, annatexas.gov, or that of the North Texas Food Bank, NTFB.org.