Minnesota Pig Farmers and University of Minnesota Partner on Ground Pork Donation

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In the midst of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Pork Board (MPB) and the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) teamed up to provide ground pork for families in need. Nearly 12,300 pounds of ground pork has been donated to Second Harvest Heartland, who will distribute it to various food shelves and other meal program partners.

“No one should be asked to fight this virus hungry,” says Allison O’Toole, Second Harvest Heartland CEO. “We’re incredibly grateful for this partnership with the Minnesota Pork Board and the University of Minnesota, as it allows us to continually distribute nutritious, fresh protein at a time when hunger is at an all-time high.”

The donation was made possible by Minnesota pig farmers, the CFANS Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science, and Second Harvest Heartland’s Farm to Food Shelf grant dollars. Due to COVID-19 disruptions in many meat packing facilities, the lab opened its doors to continue processing operations to help families in need.

“The need for food assistance in our communities is more urgent than ever,” says Brian Buhr, Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the Univeresity of Minneosta and Second Harvest Heartland board member. “We are thankful for this significant donation of pigs from Minnesota producers, and appreciate the opportunity to process this much-needed protein into ground pork for people in need.”

Minnesota pig farmers, the University of Minnesota, and Second Harvest Heartland expect to continue this partnership throughout the summer of 2020.

The Minnesota Pork Board works on behalf of Minnesota’s more than 3,000 pig farming families to bring value to consumers through research, education, and promotion of pork. Promotions are created to encourage pork consumption; research answers questions facing Minnesota pig farmers; education helps pig farmers raise their animals and bring a safe and wholesome pork product to the marketplace. For more information, visit mnpork.com.

The University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences bring science-driven innovators together to discover hands-on solutions to global chanllenges. With ten research and outreach centers across Minnesota, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the Bell Museum of Natural History, CFANS offer unparalleled experiential learning opportunities for students and the community. Learn more at cfans.umn.edu.

Second Harvest Heartland is one of the nation’s largest, most efficient and most innovative hunger relief organizations. Second Harvest Heartland provides an average of 75 percent of all food distributed by its food shelf partners, and in 2019, provided more than 97 million meals to nearly 1,000 food shelves, pantries and other partner programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Second Harvest Heartland leads through innovation, finding efficient, effective solutions to connect the full resources of our community with our hungry neighbors. For more information, visit 2harvest.org or call (651) 484-5117

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