The Second Harvest Community Food Bank received a donation of more than 37,000 servings of ground pork from Missouri Farmers Care's Drive to Feed Kids yesterday. In partnership with the Missouri Pork Association, Missouri pig farmers donated 60 hogs for processing under the Pork Partnership. Harrison Creek Farms and JBS assisted in the effort, including providing the hogs' transportation to Central Missouri Meat and Sausage in Fulton for processing. The donation consisted of 8,120 pounds of ground pork, providing much-needed, high-quality protein for hungry Missourians.
According to Feeding America, before COVID-19 more than 45,000 Missourians faced food insecurity in the 15-county region Second Harvest Community Food Bank serves. With increased unemployment and the challenges of this year, Feeding America projects that number has increased by 5.3% to 63,700 Missourians, including 20,870 children.
"This pork donation from Missouri Farmers Care will allow us to provide quality protein to those in need within our service area," said Second Harvest Communications Coordinator, Blake Haynes. "We are proud to partner with such a community driven organization."
The Missouri Farmers Care Drive to Feed Kids works to reduce food insecurity across Missouri, in partnership with Feeding Missouri and their network of food banks. Meanwhile, slowdowns driven by coronavirus among major pork processors strained the processing chain in May and June. The Drive to Feed Kids Pork Partnership bridges the gap between Missourians needing a hand up and pork producers who faced a reduction in processing availability.
"Since it launched in 2017, the Drive to Feed Kids has focused on addressing food insecurity in children across Missouri," said Don Nikodim, executive director of the Missouri Pork Association. "We're proud to see how our partners across agriculture have again stepped up to address the needs during these challenging times. Missouri agriculture has a track record of coming together to solve problems, and this is one way to help in today's tough situation. We thank pork producers who have donated their hogs so food banks can meet the needs of our neighbors facing hunger."
More than $100,000 has already been raised for the effort. Missouri's agricultural organizations and businesses, including Brownfield Ag News, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Missouri Soybean Association, FCS Financial, MFA Incorporated, American Family Insurance, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, founders of Protect the Harvest, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Paseo Biofuels, LLC, Biofuels, LLC, and many individuals have donated to cover processing and transportation costs in this partnership.
Since the initial pick up on May 26, 2020, the Pork Partnership has distributed a total of 44,410 pounds of ground pork statewide to Missouri's regional food banks. The program will continue to accept donations of hogs as processing space and funds are available. Pig farmers and meat processors can take part by contacting the Missouri Pork Association. Individuals and companies can donate funds to support the effort at MOFarmersCare.com/drive. Contributions will be recognized as part of the 2020 Drive to Feed Kids.
Through Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of more than 40 Missouri agricultural groups, the Drive to Feed Kids donated 4.3 million meals to hungry Missouri families in 2019. Feeding Missouri's six regional partner food banks distributed the food statewide. To learn more about Missouri Farmers Care and the 2020 Drive to Feed Kids, visit MOFarmersCare.com/drive.
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