Food teams at Dollywood donate peanut butter
Walt Richter, Food Manager at Dollywood, had a Foods Team Luncheon for his workers to express the gratitude the park feels for their hard work. In that meeting the workers all decided they needed to give something back to the community. The workers came up with a peanut butter drive, where everyone in the different food facilities would bring in a jar of the sandwich spread.
“It started out as some of the employees bringing the peanut butter in,” said Richter. “We set a goal of 500 jars and when we counted on Wednesday we had 2,800 jars. It didn’t stop then, some kept bringing it and we brought about 3,000 jars this morning. Some of the other divisions started pitching in too.”
The Foods Teams made it a sort of competition according to Richter and then dressed up in elf costumes and brought Santa Claus along and presented the peanut butter to the staff at the Sevier County Food Ministries on Thursday morning.
“We are thrilled at the turnout,” said Steve Streibig, director of the food ministry. “Peanut butter is one of the hardest things to get for us.”
The food ministry is entering into one of the busiest parts of the season, and the Dollywood employees helped out the cause. “We’re averaging 800 families a week right now,” said Streibig. “During Thanksgiving it will go up to about 1,000 families a week and will stay at about 900 through Christmas.”
The 4-H Clubs of Sevier County just finished a tuna drive for the ministry and the peanut butter is the second food that helps a great deal. “There are four things that are hard for us to get,” Streibig said. Tuna and peanut butter are two of them, canned meats and canned fruits are the other two.”
Dollywood does something for the ministry each holiday season. “We try to do something every year,” said Richter. “After this drive, the foods teams have decided to collect toys for the kids at Christmas, our goal is 500 toys.”
With the enthusiasm that the employees showed during the peanut butter drive, the toy drive will probably reach far higher than 500.
If you would like to donate to the food ministry, they take food donations and cash donations as well. You can call them at 428-5182.