“They’re all trying to duplicate what we’re doing,” he said.
While almost all of the jars collected locally stay local, one exception was made earlier this year when the group sent a bulk shipment of peanut butter and jelly to Moore, Okla., which was hit by a tornado in May.
One unique aspect of the drive, compared to other similar programs, is that there are no overhead or administrative costs to run it. The effort is managed completely through volunteer work and donations. Collected food is stored at Second Presbyterian Church on Van Buren Street, where there’s no rent on the building. Thanks to others, there are no bills either.
“Anonymous people stepped up and paid our bills for us,” Robinson said. “That’s huge. Who does that?”
“I love being a part of a community that cares and does something to solve a problem that should not exist,” Sheley said.
Another thing that makes the drive successful is that is has managed to avoid turf wars and provincialism that can afflict event the best intended charities. According to Robinson, although the PB&J Drive doesn’t have a relationship with the Food Bank of WNY, there is also no animosity between the groups.
“We’re all on the same team. We might not always see eye-to-eye, but we do see in the same direction,” he said.
Follow US&J City Editor Scott Leffler on Twitter @scottleffler.
PB&J collection sites
The fourth annual Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive is ongoing through Dec. 7. Donations are being accepted in Niagara, Erie and Orleans counties. Here’s a listing of drop-off sites.
LOCKORT: Allie Brandt’s; Artz Gallery & Cafe; Bower Insurance Agency; Briody’s; City Hall; Cream & Sugar Cafe; The Dale Association; DeSales Catholic School; Dunkin’ Donuts (Beattie and Dysinger); Edward Jones Financial Office; Erie Canal Discovery Center; Flight of Five Winery; Gi-Ro Cleaners (town of Lockport location); John Pound Early Childhood Center; K.M. Treats; LCTV; Lockport Athletic & Fitness Club; Lockport Board of Education Offices; Lockport City Schools; Lockport Main Street Inc.; Lockport Moose Club; Lockport Opportunity Project; Lockport Pediatrics; Lockport Public Library; Marie’s Sewing Center; Molinaro’s Ristorante; Mongielo’s Auto Specialties; Niagara County Dept. of Health; Niagara County Dept. of Social Services; Niagara County Historian's office; Niagara County Sherriff’s Dept.; Niagara’s Choice FCU, all branches; Niagara Produce Lockport; Odd Fellows; Papa Leos; Scripts Cafe; Shear Madness; Summit MSP; Sunny’s Family Drive-In Restaurant; Stevie V’s; Thrifty Propane; Union Sun & Journal; Village Trailer Park Community Center; WLVL; YMCA; YWCA.