Leaders of a local pork producing company, Seaboard Foods, delivered more than 1,725 pounds of pork to a variety of Oklahoma City-based charity organizations this holiday season.
The generous pork donations were part of Oklahoma pig farmers’ viral donation campaign known as the Give-A-Ham Challenge.
Joe Locke, senior director of operations at Seaboard Foods, led his company’s coordinated giving efforts after being challenged by fellow Oklahoma Pork Council board member Dr. Scott Carter.
The pork products were distributed among four local charity organizations serving Oklahomans in need, including: the City Rescue Mission, Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County, Homeless Alliance and Pivot, Inc.
“The generosity of the Oklahoma pork industry and their willingness to step up and support the needs of their local communities is so special to witness,” said Kylee Deniz, Oklahoma Pork executive director. “Pig farmers consider it a great honor to provide the Oklahoma City metro area with nutritious pork this holiday season.”
Each day, the City Rescue Mission serves three hot meals to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
“We are incredibly grateful to Seaboard Foods and the Oklahoma Pork Council for their generosity,” said Erin Goodin, president and CEO of the City Rescue Mission. “We received 1,000 pounds of pork, which will feed more than 2,500 people. This donation provides a basic need to those we serve and restores hope, knowing that our community cares. Thank you for caring about our neighbors.”
Madison Beeson, development coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County said with recent inflation, finding healthy, affordable meals has been more challenging.
“We are incredibly thankful for Seaboard Foods and the Oklahoma Pork Council’s generous donation of pork tenderloins to our organization,” Beeson said.
Oklahoma City Homeless Alliance Director of Development Carrie Sauer said the organization serves breakfast and lunch to an average of 250 people who are experiencing homelessness and food insecurity every weekday.
“When Oklahoma Pork reached out, we were blown away by their generosity and eagerness to help,”
Sauer said. “There are a lot of Oklahomans who are struggling right now, and with this support, we will be able to provide more high-quality protein with the meals we prepare in our Day Shelter kitchen.”
As a leader at Seaboard Foods and a proud pig farmer, Locke said feeding our neighbors is natural.
“With one in eight Oklahomans struggling with hunger, we are always ready to lend a hand,” Locke said.
All 11 members of the Oklahoma Pork Council Board of Directors will donate hams in their local communities to keep the generosity going and plan to tap friends and colleagues to also accept the challenge.
In addition to the Seaboard Foods pork donation, Locke also encouraged Prairie Fresh® customer, Homeland Stores, to participate in the challenge, which will continue until Christmas Eve.
Share your own giving story on social media using #GiveAHam and #OklahomaPork, or by visiting okpork.org/giveaham to commit to giving this holiday season.