Students around Jackson go MAD for Peanut Butter and Jelly 

KD Smith holds up some of the peanut butter donated for the MAD Project (Anna Blaire Bryant)

Over the past few weeks, sophomore Anna Blaire Bryant has been collecting peanut butter on the Jackson Prep campus for the Mississippi Food Network in a friendly competition against Jackson Academy called “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” for her Make A Difference (MAD) project. 

Led by their student body president, Bryant Seago, students at JA have been collecting jelly too. Alongside each other, Anna Blaire and Seago have brought two historically rival schools together for a good cause. Through this they will feed hundreds of hungry individuals around the state. 

Anna Blaire said one of the reasons that inspired her MAD project was, “During quarantine I realized that many children would be out of school learning at home virtually. Many of these children receive free or reduced lunch and would be missing their nutritious meals that they were used to getting at school. This summer I began brainstorming ideas on how I could make a difference in these students’ lives, and knew almost every child would love to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.” 

In addition to feeding hungry children, Anna Blaire explained that many underprivileged and at-risk senior adults who are homebound due to Covid-19 will benefit from the peanut butter and jelly due to the fact that they do not quickly go bad, and this will save them unnecessary trips to the grocery store which might be unsafe during these times.

Even though they had never met, when Anna Blaire reached out to Seago, he was eager to help, got the word out immediately across town, and they became instant friends. Donations have been pouring in from both schools, and they plan to together count all of the jars Thursday. 

The winner will be announced and presented a trophy on Friday night at the football game against the two schools which will be here at Prep. 

Anna Blaire finished by saying, “Several students from here and JA have shown interest in possibly carrying on our project next year. I hope it will continue to make an impact for the food network even after Bryant and I graduate. It’s incredible to think about the fact that in less than a month the Prep Family alone has supplied peanut butter to possibly feed almost a thousand different families. My favorite part was seeing the Jif-To-Go that one student brought. I can already imagine a child who might not have otherwise had lunch bringing that to school in their lunch box, and it’s the perfect size too.”