CRESTVIEW — Through late November, officials from the Okaloosa County Extension Office and other agencies encourage people to participate in the 2017 “Great Peanut Butter Challenge.”

The extension office is part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, which started the challenge in 2012. During the event, people can donate unopened jars of peanut butter to local agencies.

In addition, the Marianna-based Florida Peanut Producers Association supplies more than 3,000 jars of peanut butter during each challenge.

All of the donated peanut butter benefits families in need. According to the UF/IFAS, each 1-ounce serving of peanut butter contains 7 grams of protein and 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of dietary fiber.

For last year’s challenge, the Okaloosa County Extension Office collected 227 jars of peanut butter, said Jennifer Bearden, the office’s agriculture agent.

Overall, people from 16 north Florida counties donated 3,236 jars during last year’s effort, she said.

“People who don’t want to buy the peanut butter can donate money for us to buy the peanut butter,” Bearden said.

This year’s challenge began Oct. 1 and runs through Nov. 22.

Nov. 13 will mark the start of the UF/IFAS’s Farm-City Week. On Nov. 17, donated collared greens, sweet potatoes, other fresh vegetables and the donated peanut butter will be given to families in need in Okaloosa County.

“We work with Woodlawn Baptist Church on this distribution,” Bearden said. “Normally, we try to get enough vegetables and peanut butter to feed 50 to 100 families.”

Some of the peanut butter collected during the challenge will be distributed to the Sharing and Caring food pantries in Crestview, Fort Walton Beach and Niceville. Around Christmas Day, the extension office will receive the matching donation of peanut butter from the Florida Peanut Producers Association, Bearden said. Those jars will then be distributed.

Peanut butter can be dropped off through Nov. 22 at the following locations in Crestview: Okaloosa County Extension Office, 3098 Airport Road; Okaloosa County Farm Bureau, 921 W. James Lee Blvd.; U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, 938 N. Ferdon Blvd.

In Santa Rosa County, peanut butter can be dropped off at: the county extension offices in Milton and Jay and the South Annex Master Gardener office in Gulf Breeze; county government offices and libraries; United Bank locations in Pace, Milton and Jay; Lowes stores in Pace and Gulf Breeze; UF Milton and Pensacola State College; Milton city offices; and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Milton.

In Walton County, donations will be accepted at the extension office at 732 N. Ninth St. in DeFuniak Springs.

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }