The jars of nut butters began spilling out the sides of the cardboard box Thursday evening as Julia Snow placed another on top of the already overflowing pile.
Her brother Tommy Snow got an empty box and began to fill that one instead.
Julia, Tommy, their sister Madison Snow, mom Jessica LaFex and dad Patrick Snow brought several bags full of jelly and nut butters to the Nisky Nutrition On the Weekends pantry as part of an ongoing fundraiser the non-profit organization is doing throughout April. The organization provides food to families in the Niskayuna Central School District on the weekends and during breaks year round.
“People in the community are always asking how they can help,” LaFex said.
The idea came about after the organization saw an outpouring of support from community members when it asked for cereal donations a few weeks back. LaFex said the treasurer of Nisky NOW thought it would be a good idea to celebrate national peanut butter and jelly day — April 2 — all month long, while getting donations to give out to families in need. There are four donation sites set up.
“I heard that the other locations are doing really well,” LaFex said.
The event has gotten the attention of some officials and local community members who chimed in with videos on how to make the best sandwich while urging community members to donate.
Howard Schlossberg decided to make a fun trailer about making a sandwich, using dramatic music.
The right bread is the secret to the perfect sandwich, he said. Schlossberg said he uses Challah bread.
His wife and county Legislator Michelle Ostrelich, D-Niskayuna, also posted a video of how she prepares a PB & J during Passover using Matzoh.
Unlike her husband, the bread isn’t the most important part of getting the best sandwich, though.
“I’m going to disagree,” she said Saturday. “It’s the proportion of peanut butter to jelly.”
Ostrelich also said she grew up eating peanut butter and strawberry preserve sandwiches. Her husband only does grape jelly and her kids actually only like peanut butter with Nutella — mainly for the Nutella, she said.
LaFex said the biggest debate in her house is between grape jelly or strawberry jam. She said she keeps both on hand to make everyone happy. She also keeps sunflower butter in her cabinets too because Julia is allergic to peanut butter.
Ostrelich said she loves what Nisky NOW is doing to help the community.
“People aren’t aware of the food insecurity needs in Niskayuna,” she said.
She said about 10% of the student population is getting free and reduced lunches at school.
Jessica Brennan, the president of Nisky NOW, had said the food program has seen the number of families it’s assisting rise to 80 families during the COVID pandemic from 40 before the pandemic.
“They’re really serving a need,” Ostrelich said.
When and where to make a donation
When: 4 p.m.- 5 p.m., April 29
Where: Nisky NOW Pantry, door 21 on the Van Antwerp Road side of the Niskayuna School District offices
Where: 2 Chestnut Lane; leave the items on the porch.
When: 7 a.m.- 7 p.m., daily
Where: Niskayuna Fire Department #1, 1079 Balltown Road
When: 8:30 a.m.- 3 p.m., weekdays
Where: Main Entrance of Niskayuna District Office, 1239 Van Antwerp Road
Please leave items in a bag labeled “Nisky NOW Donations.”