As part of the Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Illinois campaign, the Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board and Illinois Soybean Association donated more than 13,500 pounds of ground pork last week to the Midwest Food Bank in Bloomington.
This donation will support the on-going efforts of Gridley Meats and several pork producers who have continued to donate pigs throughout the year. The donated pigs are processed by Gridley Meats. During 2011, Gridley Meats will deliver approximately 30,000 pounds of donated pork to the Midwest Food Bank. This donated pork is distributed to needy families throughout Central Illinois.
In 2008, IPPA launched Pork Power with the goal of helping fight hunger in Illinois. During the four years, Pork Power has generated more than 256,000 pounds of pork. With this donation, the Pork Power program surpasses more than 1 million servings of pork provided to families throughout Illinois.
The Pork Power program is also an opportunity to promote pork as families are educated on how to prepare and incorporate pork into their favorite dishes. Families receive information on the important nutritional, mental and physical benefits of including protein in the diet.
"Pork producers are committed to helping their neighbors throughout the state who are having difficulty feeding their families," says Mike Haag, a pork producer from Emington and IPPA president. "It is important that Illinois families have access to protein not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year as well.
This pork donation builds upon the on-going efforts of Gridley Meats and several local pork producers. Gridley Meats periodically receives pig donations from up to eight different local pork producers. Four of these producers regularly donate pigs including: Kuntz Farms of Gridley; Ringger Farms from Gridley; Tim Leman and Leman Farms from Eureka: Mike Haag from Emington and The Maschhoffs from Carlyle. The pork products are then donated to the Midwest Food Bank in Bloomington.
The Midwest Food Bank was created in 2003 when the Kieser family began providing food out of a shed on their family farm. The MFB began by serving about 10 food pantries in McLean County. Today they serve over 500 organizations across the Midwest. The food given out each month now reaches over 100,000 people.