Hubs partners with Southampton farmer, proceeds to benefit Foodbank

Published 11:31 am Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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Hubbard Peanut Company (Hubs) announced the release of the fourth edition of its highly limited Single Origin Peanuts on Monday, March 18. Credit is given to Southampton County native, pastor, and fourth-generation farmer Elisha Barnes, with whom they partner to produce the peanuts. The limited-edition peanuts are now available on Hubs’ website for nationwide shipping and locally at The Hubs Vine, located at 1459 Armory Drive, Franklin.

While the type of peanuts being offered remains the same — sun-cured on stakes the old-fashioned way and sold with the skins on — this batch boasts uniqueness. Proceeds from each can will be donated to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and Eastern Shore (the Foodbank), with each sale generating two meals for locals in need. The can has also received a refresh, adorned with the phrase “What can change a life? A peanut can!” Furthermore, this release signifies years of partnership among Franklin/Southampton businesses, organizations, and residents, united by the goal of reducing food insecurity and making healthy meals more accessible to everyone in the region.

Marshall Rabil, Hubs’ Director of Sales and Marketing, shares, “The company feels fortunate to continue working with Elisha. Playing a role in preserving peanut history and the community’s history is fulfilling.” He further adds that “this new batch symbolizes the many beautiful, creative ways the Franklin/Southampton community has come together to tackle food insecurity in the region, making these peanuts even more meaningful.”

Inspired by single-origin coffee and chocolate, Hubs released the country’s first “Single Origin Peanut” line in March 2020, sourcing peanuts solely from Barnes’ “Pop Son Farm” in Branchville, VA, where his great-grandfather started as a sharecropper. Barnes is the only farmer known to still use the “shocking method,” which makes these peanuts truly one-of-a-kind. The peanuts take longer to produce using this method, and the process is labor-intensive, but Barnes wouldn’t have it any other way because, for him, it’s about preserving a valuable piece of Virginia culture and history. The product was so popular it sold out within the first 24 hours. Each year since, Hubs has released and sold out of each new batch of the Single Origin Peanuts, while working on ways to give back to and connect the community.

Hubs began working closely with the Foodbank in 2020, offering their warehouse and providing volunteers to make kits for the Foodbank’s Backpack Buddies program. In 2021, Hubs hosted its “Harvest the Vine” event, raising $3,500 for the Foodbank and drawing attention to the need for more fresh food for those facing hunger in the community. In 2022, the Foodbank’s new President and CEO, Christopher Tan, connected with Rev. Eric Majette, who owned a 20-acre plot of land near the Foodbank’s facility in Franklin, and they worked out a symbiotic deal that helped solve the problem. Rev. Majette leased the land to the Foodbank, and the Foodbank agreed to let Barnes use half of the property as he wished if he agreed to farm produce on the other half for the community. They titled the land “Izzie’s Field” in honor of the Foodbank’s former Grants Manager, Izzie Brown, whose passionate grant-writing efforts made this initiative a reality. Barnes elected to use his extra land for this year’s batch of Single Origin Peanuts, planting corn on the other half. Thanks to the generous help of volunteers, both crops were successfully harvested and distributed. By 2023, support had multiplied. Hubs, Commune Restaurant, and River Road Farm teamed up to launch the inaugural Homegrown Harvest Festival, with proceeds benefiting the Foodbank and The CROP Foundation, which aims to foster education and employment for students interested in the art, science, and soul of food. The event raised $30,000, which funded Izzie’s Field for 2024 and provided scholarships to local students.

Tan expresses gratitude for the partnership between Hubs and the Foodbank, stating, “They are incredibly grateful for the partnership between Hubs and the Foodbank and for the dedication of individuals like Elisha Barnes.” He emphasizes the importance of fostering connections within the community and ensuring access to nutritious food, highlighting the impact of initiatives like these in preserving traditions and helping neighbors in need.

For more details on the new product, recipe inspiration, and retail availability, readers can visit