Paying it Forward, PB & Jam Slam collects comfort food for kids

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - A loaf of bread, some peanut butter and jelly (grape or strawberry, it really doesn't mater). You know the ingredients, they're the raw materials for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But for the volunteers paying it forward in Paragould, it's more than that, it's the recipe for some very real 'comfort food'.

The idea started with two numbers.

"275 and 160," Dustin Rumsey, founder of Pay it Forward Paragould, told Region 8 News.

"275 is the number of backpacks the Paragould school district sends home every week. 160 is the number that Greene County Tech sends home every week," Rumsey explained.

They aren't sent home for academics though. The backpacks are full of food for those children whose main meals come from school.

"And we rely on donations and food drives," Tori Thompson with the Paragould School District explained.

Thompson said the more donations they have to stock their two food pantries, the better for the kids.

"We like to send enough food home with them to get them through the weekend so usually between 10-15 items in each backpack," Thompson explained.

Two popular items that make it into those backpacks: peanut butter and jelly.

"Protein content of peanut butter, shelf life of peanut butter and jelly and you don't have to cook it, nobody's worried about getting burned, you don't have to have a can opener to get this stuff open, it's real simple and real easy," Rumsey said.

It's also real simple and easy to pick up, which is the premise behind Pay it Forward Paragould's Peanut Butter and Jam Slam.

"You can get peanut butter relatively cheap and drop it at a drop off location it all adds up. If one person can do one jar...that's gonna do a lot."

The drive has been going on for a week and will end next Friday.

"I'd like to quadruple all this...if not...more than quadruple it," Rumsey said.

The ultimate goal: a thousand pounds or more of peanut butter and jelly and to get people accustomed to paying it forward.

"Anybody can do this. That's the beauty of Pay it Forward. It doesn't matter how old you are, how much money you have, all you have to do is something simple...hold a door for somebody, smile at somebody, say hello!"

There are multiple drop-off locations in Greene County for the Peanut Butter and Jam Slam.

Drop off points:

Chili's of Paragould



Both Glen Sain locations

White Office Supplies

Chris Robinson AllState insurance

First Class Cuts

Benson Law Firm

Kiss the Cook

Anytime Fitness

For more details, head to Pay it Forward Paragould's Facebook Page.

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