NEW: Washington Trust’s Peanut Butter Drive Reaches 100 Ton Milestone

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


More than six tons of peanut butter were collected during Washington Trust's annual drive, bringing the Bank's 12-year total to more than 100 tons. The donations have been distributed to Rhode Island food banks throughout the years--helping to make almost four million peanut butter sandwiches.

Peanut butter is one of the most requested food bank items because it is a highly nutritious source of protein as well as popular throughout all ages. Due to the rising cost of peanut butter over the years, food banks have continuously had a shortage of the product. “The peanut butter drive is a real blessing for us.  The high price of peanut butter has prevented us from purchasing it. Thanks to this significant amount collected by Washington Trust we had enough to distribute to all of our families,” said Diana Burdett, Executive Director of the Providence In-Town Churches Association.

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Washington Trust and Rhode Island Community Food Bank recognize the significant impact of the community and is always looking "Helping this number of families in this tough economy could not have been done without the community: the schools, parish, the Girl Scouts," says Elizabeth B. Eckel, Vice President of Marketing at Washington Trust.

In addition, the partnership is always looking for new ways to generate community involvement. On April 1, 2011 it introduced "Donate the Difference Day," urging individuals to, instead of buying lunch, pack themselves a bagged lunch--such as a peanut butter sandwich--and then donate the money they saved online. The single day effort raised $1,669. "A lot of people are online today," says Eckel, "it is an easy way to make a difference through making a contribution." Also, because food banks purchase the peanut butter at a wholesale price, the money contributions allow them to purchase two for the price of one.

This year’s collection benefited food banks throughout the state including the Bread of Life Food Pantry in Rumford, the Comprehensive Action Program in Cranston, the Helping Hands Food Pantry of Block Island, the Jonnycake Centers of Westerly and Peacedale, the North Kingstown Food Pantry, the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, the Providence In-Town Churches Association in Pawcatuck, Conn., the Rhode Island Center Assisting Those In Need in Charlestown, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, the WestBay Community Action Program in Warwick and the Wood River Food Pantry in Richmond.

While proud of their accomplishments, the drive directors are looking forward to surpassing their goals next year and continuing to help the community. They are always welcome to new suggestions to help the cause because, "unfortunately, the need is still there," says Eckel.

The Washington Trust Company is a subsidiary of Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc., a $3.0 billion corporation headquartered in Westerly, Rhode Island. Founded in 1800, Washington Trust is the oldest community bank in the nation and is the largest independent bank headquartered in Rhode Island. It is a state-chartered bank and trust services through its offices located in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Corporation’s common stock trades on The NASDAQ Global Select® Stock Market under the symbol WASH.  Web site address:


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