Employees at The Food Bank were doing a double take April 20 as they spotted a giant peanut parked next to their vehicles in the east parking lot.
The Planters Nutmobile stopped by during its week-long visit through Columbia to let driver Gabi Solis of Miami volunteer for the afternoon.
“We are so appreciative that Gabi opted to spend her afternoon with us in the Volunteer Room—where things can get a little nutty anyway,” Teresa Coleman, volunteer room supervisor, quipped. “She had such a positive energy. And we had a blast taking photos with the Nutmobile.”
The Weinermobile’s lesser-known sibling (they are sister programs under Kraft/Heinz) has been traveling the country since 2013. Drivers spend a year in one of three peanut-shaped vehicles promoting the product and volunteering.
“It’s awesome,” Solis said. “It’s really fun to get to meet so many people and help out communities.”
Her co-worker is a University of Missouri graduate who suggested that she volunteer at The Food Bank. During her afternoon shift, Solis helped package senior boxes and label soup cans.
“Everyone I’ve met here is so nice,” she said.
So what is it like driving a massive peanut? Not unlike handling a large vehicle, Solis said, other than getting a lot of attention.
“Lots of honking and slowing down to take photos,” she said.
Sometimes, people will hold bags or cans of Planters out the window to show her. The product seems to be especially popular among truck drivers.
“Truck drivers will wave cans of peanuts at me,” she said. “That’s my favorite.”