The Salvation Army is after our Peanut Butter

-By Laura Rocca, BWB Employee

In December, we at Better World Books held our annual Peanut Butter Drive to support our local chapter of the Salvation Army. Why would the Salvation Army need peanut butter, you ask? Every year, the Salvation Army hands out food boxes to needy families around the area.

“The food we supply families at Christmas is meant not only to provide a holiday meal, but also to supplement the food items that many children aren’t getting from school when they are off for two weeks.  Because, unfortunately, 70% of schoolchildren in South Bend public schools rely on free or reduced-price breakfast and lunches. So that is where peanut butter comes in – it provides the nutrition for those breakfast/lunch meals and it is ubiquitously enjoyed,” says Liz Kurtz, the Social Services Director of St. Joseph County’s Salvation Army.

So, we split our employees into ten teams, with everyone competing to be in the top three. They sand-bagged, they bargained, they fought! One team even used their skills from being in our Pricing department to negotiate with peanut butter distributers for their lowest price. In the end, first place went to the Purple Team (a combination of Inbound and Outbound shipping, as well as our Web Developers), and the Pink Team followed with a close second- only 23 jars difference!In third place, we had the hard-working Blue Team. The prizes this year were pizza parties and a cookout, which everyone enjoyed.

All in all, our generous employees at our Mishawaka warehouse were able to collect 1,482 jars of peanut butter! This blew last year’s number of 1,126 out of the water and helped the Salvation Army feed the more than 1,500 families that needed these holiday food boxes.

Liz says, “Better World Books never ceases to impress us.  All season long, I see the generosity of groups in our community.  But for a workplace to band together and every year improve their record – it is remarkable. Thank you, BWB, for your reliability and for choosing The Salvation Army clients as lucky recipients of your efforts!”

We’re just happy to help community families with this event and hope to continue this partnership with the Salvation Army in the years to come.


  1. That’s a lot of peanut butter! (and a lot fewer empty tummies).

    Plans for how to make it even bigger next year?

  2. It might be a little more ‘socially conscious’ to participate in this fundraiser with a less controversial organization in the future. Perhaps community based.

  3. Jeffrey Heath Miller says:

    Mmmm … peanut butter.

    (Unrelated aside: I’m pretty sure the anti-spam code I had to type in is some kind of Latin, either classical or possibly even Pig … very suspicious).

  4. Annabelle says:

    Not sure what commenter meant by the controversial Salvation Army.
    I use the thrift store here (as a donor and a buyer). I know the Salvation Army does a great job with those who are ‘down and out’ and is still a great way for families to get in contact with people who have isolated themselves.
    Since I have not been preached at or asked to pray, I don’t seem the SA as particularly obnoxious with their own beliefs.

  5. Thank you Annabelle. After I was released from prison,the Salvation Army was there to help with my re-entry. They were also there for me to complete my community service obligation of Restorative Justice. Because of my experience with SA, I found employment with ANOTHER community based non-profit organization and built their first used book store. The proceeds from that store goes towards supporting food shelves in our area, and the Salvation Army is a partner in that mission as well.
    Daisy, you obviously have never needed help or learned the meaning of “giving back”.

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