They say the proof is in the pudding. But this time, the proof is in the peanut butter; little hands can make a big difference.

Paige Burns, 9, is on an incredible mission – the kind that is as selfless as it is sweet. Paige knows in the summer months, when kids are out of school and there is no longer access to free or reduced lunch programs, many of them are going to bed hungry. So she decided to start a peanut butter drive at her cheer gym.

“Well I heard that many kids who don’t have enough money or enough food, that their only meal is at lunch and over the summertime most kids aren’t getting much food,” Paige said. “So I thought that peanut butter – because peanut butter sandwiches are easy to make at home for kids if their parents are at work or something – so I thought it would just be easy for them to make it as a meal.”

The donations starting pouring in. A whole bin-full, in fact, weighing in at a whopping 72 pounds.

“I was so surprised because I realized that it weighed more than I do!” said Paige estatically.

Peanut butter is a hot commodity at Feeding Northeast Florida. So it’s no surprise that as soon as it was weighed in, it was claimed by one of our hunger-relief agencies. Our network of partners provides food to children and families, senior citizens and veterans.

“Actually I have quite a few residents, and I’m kind of low on peanut butter, that do love peanut butter and jelly’s and I actually, when I’m in the kitchen there will serve up some fried peanut butter and jelly,” said Christopher Campbell of the need his agency has for peanut butter.

He calls this peanut butter, and the other food products they receive from Feeding Northeast Florida, a life saver.

“We wouldn’t be able to provide the meals we provide without you guys helping us,” he said.

This time, he has Paige to thank for that.

“I am very happy to do that,” said Paige.

And as the peanut butter was loaded up onto the agency’s and rolled away, Paige is already five steps ahead thinking about what else she can do to give back.

“I don’t know yet but I’ve been trying to brainstorm some ideas,” she said with a smile.

If you would like to host a peanut butter drive, contact Kaci Honeycutt at khoneycutt@feedingnefl.org or call 904.830.4379. If you would like to make a financial contribution to the cause, click here. One in four children in Northeast Florida is food insecure. That’s 81,660 kids. A contribution of $185 will feed a child for a year.