Drive to Feed Kids Pork Partnership delivers 8,600 pounds of pork to St. Louis Area Foodbank
ST. LOUIS, MO — The St. Louis Area Foodbank received a donation of 8,600 pounds of ground pork from Missouri Farmers Care’s Drive to Feed Kids. In partnership with the Missouri Pork Association, Missouri pig farmers donated 41 hogs for processing under the Pork Partnership. Two Mile Pork and JBS assisted in the effort, including providing the hogs’ transportation to Central Missouri Meat and Sausage in Fulton for processing. This follows an initial donation of 5,680 pounds of pork donated in June.
Governor Mike Parson, Senator Roy Blunt and Missouri agricultural partners joined local pig farmers to deliver the more than 39,000 servings of much-needed, high-quality protein for hungry Missourians.
“We are thankful that Missouri agriculture has been one of the many industries in the Show-Me State to step up and be part of the solution during COVID-19,” Governor Mike Parson said. “As a lifelong Missourian, I know how thoughtful and giving the farming community is, especially when we face tough times. I want to thank my fellow farmers for stepping up, creating such a meaningful program, and doing their part to feed hungry families in our state.”
As part of Missouri Farmers Care, the Drive to Feed Kids program works to reduce food insecurity across Missouri in partnership with Feeding Missouri and its network of food banks. As Coronavirus-related slowdowns among major pork processors strained the processing chain in May and June, the Drive to Feed Kids Pork Partnership developed to help bridge the gap between Missourians in need and pork producers who faced a temporary 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, American Family Insurance, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Missouri Soybean Association, FCS Financial, MFA Incorporated, 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.
According to Feeding America, before COVID-19 more than 368,000 Missourians faced food insecurity in the 26-county region St. Louis Area Foodbank serves. With increased unemployment and the challenges of this year, Feeding America projects that number has increased by 43% to 527,280 Missourians, including 159,220 children.
Since the initial pick up on May 26, 2020, the Pork Partnership has distributed a total of more than 50,000 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.
Missouri farmers and agricultural organizations, accompanied by Governor Mike Parson and Senator Roy Blunt, supported the St. Louis Area Foodbank by delivering 8,600 pounds of ground pork for families in need on Sept. 3. This effort is a part of Missouri Farmers Care’s Drive to Feed Kids campaign which focuses on works to reduce food insecurity across Missouri in partnership with Feeding Missouri and its network of food banks.