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The peanut butter plan.


From the September 15, 2009 San Francisco Chronicle comes another story of a Facebook-inspired work of kindness. San Francisco's Jory John is the instigator of the Peanut Butter Plan, through which groups of local people, who start out as strangers acquainted through Facebook, get together once a month to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to hand out to the homeless. The plan began in San Francisco, but has now spread to Los Angeles, Berkeley, Phoenix, Little Rock, Grand Rapids, Austin, and even London.

Each month, the plan members individually purchase the supplies that they can afford (peanut butter, jelly, bread, and sandwich bags) and bring them to a central location, frequently a donated office. They make the sandwiches and bag them, clean up their work space, and then spread out in pairs to distribute them to the homeless.

The plan is constantly gaining new members through its website,, and although anyone can join there is a learning curve for many new members: It doesn't come naturally to everyone to get the proper ratio of peanut butter to jelly for the optimum sandwich. Too much peanut butter and the sandwich is too dry; too much jelly and it's too soggy. "I started out 50-50," volunteer Efrat Lelkes admitted to the Chronicle. "But that's too much jelly. I think the proper ratio is 3-to-1, in favor of peanut butter." Notwithstanding that critical but temporary obstacle, however, making sandwiches is a simple task that anyone can undertake to help alleviate hunger.

"The smallest actions make the biggest difference," John told the Chronicle. "There are some cynics who say it's not really curing hunger, and it isn't curing hunger. But it's curing one person's hunger. There's nothing wrong with that."

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Title Annotation:THE GOODNESS OF AMERICA; volunteers who make peanut butter sandwiches
Author:Stanley, Liana
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Oct 26, 2009
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