In the Community

Washington Trust Collects 11 Tons of Peanut Butter During 20th Annual Drive to Benefit Local Food Pantries

June 26, 2020

Westerly, RI - June 26, 2020 - The Washington Trust Company collected approximately 22,000 pounds, or 11 tons of peanut butter during the Bank’s 20th annual Peanut Butter Drive to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and 10 local food pantries across Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. This year’s online donations to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank totaled $9,740, which Washington Trust matched dollar for dollar. Since launching the Drive in 2001, Washington Trust has collected more than 143 tons of peanut butter—enough to provide a sandwich to 4.5 million people.

“Because this year’s drive overlapped with the COVID-19 pandemic, we delivered peanut butter as it was collected to food pantries that had an immediate need, promoted our online donation link to allow people to support the drive remotely, and matched those online donations,” explained Edward O. Handy III, Washington Trust Chairman & CEO. “We are thrilled with the outpouring of support from our employees, customers, and generous community members,” added Handy, who also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 12.4 percent of Rhode Islanders (54,200 households) are food insecure, meaning they are often unsure where their next meal will come from due to a lack of resources. During this unprecedented time, there is even more of a need for food, and the Rhode Island Food Bank is distributing 42% more food now than at this time last year. Peanut butter is particularly sought out by food pantries because it has a long shelf life, seven grams of protein in one serving and 30 nutrients and phytonutrients.

“This year, with the COVID-19 crisis driving an increased demand for food, we are so thankful for the generous donations we’ve received through the Washington Trust Peanut Butter Drive,” said Rhode Island Community Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff. “And with Washington Trust matching all donations, we’re able to double the amount of peanut butter we can distribute to our neighbors in need.”

Washington Trust donated peanut butter to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank as well as local food pantries including Comprehensive Community Action Program (Cranston); Bread of Life Food Pantry (Rumford); Good Neighbors Soup Kitchen (Riverside), Jonnycake Center of Westerly; Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale; New Hope Chapel Pantry (Carolina); North Kingstown Food Pantry; Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center; Rhode Island Center Assisting Those in Need (Charlestown); Tri-County Community Action Agency (Johnston).

ABOUT WASHINGTON TRUST® Founded in 1800, Washington Trust is the oldest community bank in the nation and one of the Northeast’s premier financial services companies. Washington Trust offers a full range of financial services, including commercial banking, mortgage banking, personal banking and wealth management and trust services through its offices located in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Washington Trust Company is a subsidiary of Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc., (NASDAQ: WASH). Additional information on Washington Trust and its subsidiaries can be found at https://www.washtrust.com/.