Unions spread the love with peanut butter for kids

EVERETT — Members of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 in Snohomish County collected nearly 1,400 pounds of peanut butter during the recent Snohomish County Central Labor Council peanut butter drive.paul richard peanut butter

In addition, Machinists in south King and Pierce counties collected 280 jars of peanut butter, weighing an estimated 415 pounds, which has been given to the Emergency Food Network in Tacoma by the Pierce County Central Labor Council.

“I’m proud of the members who helped collect this,” said IAM 751 Business Rep Jason Redrup, who also serves as president of the Snohomish County labor council. “They regularly step up for others and come through in a big way for the community.”

Overall, unions in Pierce and Snohomish counties collected more than 14,000 pounds of peanut butter — that’s 7 tons — during their peanut butter drives, which coincided with the annual National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive in May.

The Machinists were the top contributors of peanut butter to the Snohomish County effort, collecting more than a quarter of all the peanut butter gathered by unions countywide. It has all been donated to Volunteers of America‘s Everett food bank.

Redrup cited IAM 751 Union Steward Paul Richards and his second-shift co-workers on Boeing’s 777 program in Everett for their contribution of more than 500 individual jars of peanut butter. Redrup called them a “generous group.”SeattlePeanutButter2

This is the fifth year for Pierce County unions — and second year for Snohomish County unions — to collect peanut butter for area food banks.

Activists point out that nearly one in seven Washington state residents goes to bed hungry on a regular basis. Peanut butter in particular is important because it’s a vital source of protein that almost all kids enjoy, and it becomes essential during the summertime for low-income children when they no longer are able to get free lunches at school.

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at the Boeing Co., District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 33,000 working men and women at 52 employers across Washington and California.

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