The North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program (NCGAL) has launched its annual Peanut Butter and Jelly Campaign. Guardian ad Litem offices across North Carolina will be accepting donations of plastic jars of peanut butter and jelly from October 18 through January 20, 2018. The goal this year is to collect 10,000 plastic jars of peanut butter and jelly across the state and deliver them to local food banks and pantries.
The goal of the 2017 inaugural campaign was to collect 1,000 plastic jars of peanut butter and jelly. However, at the conclusion of the drive, the program managed to collect over 8,000 jars of peanut butter and jelly, all of which was donated to local food banks to help feed North Carolinians.
"This is our second annual statewide service project undertaken by the staff, volunteers, friends, and supporters of our program," stated Cindy Bizzell, Guardian ad Litem administrator. "Much of the work we do is confidential in nature and, therefore, our work is largely unknown outside of juvenile court. This project is a way for us to engage our communities in supporting their food banks while at the same time highlighting who we are and what we do."
Organizers chose peanut butter and jelly for the food drive since peanut butter is something all food banks need. The collection of jelly was added because peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple of childhood and symbolic of the children supported by Guardian ad Litem.
The Hunger in America 2014 study completed by Feeding America estimates that Food Banks are now providing emergency food for an estimated 59,200 different people in any given week. NCGAL decided to help when it was learned that 50 percent of those served by the Food Bank are children and seniors. Food insecurity remains a serious problem in North Carolina. More than 651,000 people struggle to access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for an active and healthy life.
NCGAL thanks its community partners and anyone who is able to contribute to make this a successful campaign. Those wishing to donate can find their local NCGAL office by visiting volunteerforgal.org.
About N.C. Guardian ad Litem
The North Carolina Guardian ad Litem equips and trains community volunteers to serve as independent court advocates to represent and promote the best interests of abused and neglected children and youths by advocating for their best interests. The Office of Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Services is a division of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. Pursuant to G.S. 7B-601, when a petition alleging abuse or neglect of a juvenile is filed in district court, the judge appoints a volunteer Guardian ad Litem advocate and an attorney advocate to provide team representation to the child, who has full party status in trial and appellate proceedings.
Could you be the voice for a child?
In 2016, more than 2,320 abused and neglected children and youth in North Carolina went to court without someone to advocate just for them. Volunteer to become a Guardian ad Litem Advocate and be the voice for a child.