Machinists join Pierce County unions to collect peanut butter

In 2012, District 751 Machinists were the leaders in an effort that collected nearly 2 tons of peanut butter for the Emergency Food Network in Pierce County.

TACOMA — Members of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 are once again collecting peanut butter to help feed hungry people in Pierce County.

The Pierce County Central Labor Council kicked off its annual peanut butter drive in January, with support from District 751 and other labor unions.

Last year’s drive collected nearly 2 tons of peanut butter, which was donated to the Emergency Food Network and distributed throughout Pierce County. District 751 Machinists were the top contributors to the effort, collecting 552 jars of peanut butter, which was 27 percent of the total.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are an American staple, and peanut butter is an essential source of protein for many people — children in particular, said David Henry, a District 751 officer who represents the union as a delegate to the Pierce Council labor council.

“Peanut butter is something every kid will eat,” he said. “It’s a simple way to provide good nutrition, and it’s something that food banks really need.”

Union stewards and members are being encouraged to bring jars of peanut butter to their local lodge meetings in February. Donations of peanut butter can be dropped off at District 751 union halls in Auburn, Everett, Renton and Seattle.

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 nearly 34,000 working men and women at 48 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. Over the past four years, District 751 volunteers have raised more than $1 million for Guide Dogs of America, including a record $299,000 raised in 2012.

To learn more about District 751, read the Machinists News.

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