The Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board and Illinois Soybean Association presented the Midwest Food Bank with a check for $7,500 on Dec. 15 as part of the Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Illinois campaign.
The donation was made to support Gridley Meats' continued processing of hogs donated by local pork producers. IPPA continued the Pork Power program, which, last year, provided more than 100,000 pounds of donated pork to food banks in Illinois.
Ringger brothers Stan, Steve, Scott, and Brent were raised on a grain and farrow-to-finish hog farm that Stan and Brent still operate today. Steve and Scott stayed in the field of agriculture, but not on the farm. They work for JBS United, a grain and feed company. In 1999, the brothers purchased a meat processing plant and locker, Gridley Meats.
"A few years ago, we realized that by combining our efforts, we could fulfill a need within our community,' adds Steve Ringger. The farm began turning over pigs to the locker for processing, which in turn, donated the processed ground pork to local food pantries.
Today, the Ringgers receive pig donations from approximately eight pork producers. The pork products are then donated to the Midwest Food Bank in Bloomington. "We deliver 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of donated pork to Midwest Food Bank each month, which is then distributed to needy families throughout Central Illinois," adds Steve.