Donation marks over 3 million servings to date
As part of Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Illinois campaign, the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA), Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) and the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) Checkoff Program donated 101,326 pounds of pork to food banks throughout the state in 2020.
Since its inception in 2008, Pork Power has generated over 922,000 pounds of pork – over 3 million servings – for families throughout Illinois. Farmers and partnering commodity groups work together to donate to the program year-round in order to help feed those in need.
“The Pork Power project is one of my favorite projects IL Corn invests in,” commented Dirk Rice, ICMB Chairman. “As a farmer, I feel very connected to the job of feeding hungry people and this project allows all farmers, all over Illinois, to do just that. I’ve seen how happy the food banks and their customers are to receive the excellent protein source we are donating. This is a great opportunity to give back to our communities, work together for good, and eat more pork.”
Towards the end of each calendar year IPPA turns the remaining funds into ground pork and divides it among the regional food banks in the state. As part of the end-of-the-year giving campaign, over 47,900 pounds were delivered to the Illinois regional food banks in the months of November and December alone, just in time for the holidays.
“Illinois Soybean Farmers are proud supporters of the Pork Power program as it provides access to pork to hungry families throughout the state by partnering with Feeding Illinois,” said Doug Schroeder, ISA Chairman. “We support the ongoing efforts of this program as it shows how soybean, corn and pig farmers in Illinois continue to support the local communities in which they live.”
Those who received pork in 2020 were:
- Central Illinois Foodbank, Springfield
- Eastern Illinois Foodbank, Urbana
- Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago
- Midwest Foodbank, Bloomington
- Northern Illinois Food Bank, Rockford
- Peoria Area Food Bank, Peoria
- River Bend Foodbank, Davenport, IA
- Louis Area Foodbank, St. Louis, MO
- Tri-State Foodbank, Evansville, IN
In 2020, the following processors contributed time and talent towards ground pork donations:
- Chenoa Locker
- Eickman’s Processing Co. Inc.
- Main Street Meats
- Schubert’s Smokehouse
- Slagel Family Meats
- Steidinger Foods
- Turkasy Meats
- Y-T Packing Co.
“Now more than ever, we see the need to support our communities by supplying those in need with high quality protein,” states IPPA board president Dale Weitekamp. “The protein supply is available, and we wanted it to get it in the right hands just in time for the holidays.”
IPPA encourages pig farmers to participate in the program by covering processing fees of their donated pigs. Farmers can go to ilpork.com to learn more about the donation process. This program would not be possible without the help of local packers and processors across the state, and those who purchased a themed t-shirt that profited the program.