One night, seven contestants and over 100 jars of peanut butter collected for families in need. Combined, all three of these ingredients led to a joyful, fun evening. Last week, greenCOW held the Peanut Butter Holiday Soirée & Recipe Contest as part of a bigger community initiative to raise peanut butter for kids of families struggling with food instability. 

Food instability happens when a person or family is unsure when they will receive their next meal--and the national average for this issue is 1 in 8. In Lake and Porter counties of Indiana, the statistic is much higher. As many as 1 in 6 people in our area suffer from food instability. Many of these people are children who rely on school lunch programs for regular meals. 

Which is why we joined the Co-Opvertising Network of Entrepreneurs 2.0's Peanut Butter Challenge--because peanut butter is the MOST requested, LEAST donated item, and kids love it! greenCOW's pledge to this challenge was to raise 1000 jars of peanut butter for the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, who needs about 30K jars of peanut butter per year. 

We are so thankful to everyone in the greenCOW community who attended the event and helped to raise peanut butter! Our evening started off with warm welcomes and warm food, including samples from our seven recipe contestants. Our winners of the evening were Kerri Mommer's vegan peanut butter pie and Miranda Morley's Thai Chicken Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce. 

Once dinner was over and the recipe contest winners were announced, we heard from one of the leaders of the Northwest Indiana Peanut Butter Challenge, Lauren Stegenga, owner of Empowering the Village, as well as the Events and Outreach Associate at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Riley Egan. Both spoke about the power of community and the importance of teaching others the skills they need to support themselves. greenCOW coworker Jeremy Gates then rounded out the evening with an engaging magic show. 

Our evening could not have happened if it weren't for our sponsors: the Towle Theater, Stella Cafe, El Taco Real, RoccnParty, Texas Corral, the Co-Op Network, and the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. Here are a few photos from RoccnParty's photobooth to commemorate the evening. 


Community Coordinator Kayla (left) and greenCOW Volunteer Kaje (right) making silly faces! 

Owner of Packrat Salads, Katy Province-Garza (left) and owner of Roccnparty, Jamaica Sawyers (right) showing their holiday spirit with some fun facial accessories. 

From left to right: Tiffany T. Cole, greenCOW Operations Manager; Barbara Caine, owner of Fuse Business Training; greenCOW coworker Uzoma Obidike, owner of She Leads Beautifully; and greenCOW coworker Jeff Schulman, Senior Financial Adviser for Stryde Solutions and B2B sales recruiter/consultant

We were glad that we could bring so many businesses and individuals together to do some good in the community, but we aren't done yet. Until the end of the year, greenCOW will still be taking peanut butter donations for the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. If you've got some jars you'd like to donate, you can drop them off at our front desk at 5209 Hohman Avenue, Hammond, IN 46320. 

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