Since 2016, the cannery, located just off Hafer Road near FM 1960, has served as a point of partnership between the church and hunger-relief organization Feeding America.
Cannery manager Peter Polis said peanut butter is a top-requested product among food banks because it is high in protein and has a long shelf life.
“Peanut butter is the ideal product for [addressing hunger]: It’s easy to ship, store and consume,” Polis said. “It’s the best way to address that problem in an immediate way.”
In 2019, the cannery produced 403,920 26-ounce jars for the Bishop’s Storehouse, a food pantry organized by the church, and 967,680 16-ounce jars for Feeding America.
While the church has other manufacturing facilities, Polis said the cannery is unique in its relationship with Feeding America, a nonchurch-affiliated organization, and its volunteer base, which includes nonchurch members.
Excluding three full-time employees, the cannery is fully operated by volunteers. No experience is needed, and prospective volunteers only need to be at least 16 years old.
Polis said he never expected so many people to come volunteer their time regardless of what they believe or where they work.
“It’s amazing to me the amount of people that have such generous hearts,” he said. “My favorite part of being here is just meeting people that have the same desire to help as I do.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Peanut Butter Cannery
16333 Hafer Road, Houston
Volunteer shift time slots: Every other Thursday (Jan.-June, Aug.-Nov.) 7:30 a.m.-noon, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., 3:30-8 p.m., 8 p.m.-12:15 a.m., 11:45 p.m.-4 a.m., 3:30-8 a.m.