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Wakulla County helping neighbors affected by Hurricane Michael

Posted at 10:58 PM, Oct 27, 2018
and last updated 2019-10-02 15:42:26-04

CRAWFORDVILLE, FL (WTXL) -- Neighbors helping neighbors. We've seen it all around us since Hurricane Michael hit almost three weeks ago. On Saturday, people in Wakulla County brought something familiar to those who've been displaced.

It's a slice of home during a hardship. 36 thousand jars of peanut butter are heading to families who had to leave their homes in the Western Panhandle after Hurricane MichaelIt's all thanks to the Florida Peanut Federation, Peanut Proud and UF/IFAS in Wakulla County.

"We've been hit here before and when we have been struck by a hurricane or other type of disaster, other communities have come to our aid in a very generous way," said Dr. Rachel Pienta. She works with the Wakulla County UF/IFAS Extension and organized the peanut butter drop-off.

Now, it's time to help them. They're hoping to put a smile on their face with a simple but tasty gift. "For us to be able to share that blessing and pay it forward and help our neighbors to the west, it has really touched the hearts of the community of Wakulla County," said Dr. Pienta.

Peanut Proud is a non-profit that helps out after a natural disaster, delivering peanut butter, a non-perishable protein. The organization, along with Florida Peanut Federation, donated all the jars. However, the generosity did not stop there. Folks in Wakulla County donated bread and jelly to be sent along with the peanut butter.Dozens of volunteers showed up to pack their cars and drive the cases to the western communities.

"Being able to distribute peanut butter and something that is so familiar in every household, bringing a smile to folks' faces when they have a bite of something so familiar, it brings a smile to our face as I hope it does for them," said Deborah Tannenbaum. She's the Executive Director of the. Florida Peanut Federation. So far, the two groups have dropped off more than 100,000 jars in Florida and Georgia to help families as they recover from Hurricane Michael.

And just as one drive is wrapping up, the UF/IFAS Extension in Wakulla County is starting a new donation drive. They're collecting school supplies for students impacted by the hurricane. Schools in Jackson County are starting back up November 1st. And all Bay County students are returning no later than November 12th.

Many children lost their schools supplies in the storm and that's exactly why there's a need. You can donate anything typically bought when shopping for back to school. They'll be given to the school districts in 9 western Panhandle counties. The supplies are being collected now through November 9th. You can drop them off at the UF/IFAS Wakulla office at 84 Cedar Ave. Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00.