Food Banks Receive Pork Donations

by 5m Editor
18 June 2008, at 11:20am

CANADA - Winnipeg Harvest reports it has started receiving pork donated through a federal breeding swine reduction program for distribution to food banks across the province, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Under the Federal Cull Breeding Swine program hog producers who agree to depopulate breeding barns and leave them empty of breeding stock for a minimum of three years are eligible for payments of 225 dollars per culled animal.

The program is designed to reduce Canada's swine herd in an effort to reduce an over supply of hogs and improve prices.

Pork from swine culled under the program may not enter the commercial food distribution chain but the meat is allowed to be diverted for use by food banks.

Winnipeg Harvest general manager Bryan Stone says product has started to flow.

Bryan Stone-Winnipeg Harvest

Processing is taking place in a number of places right now.

There's Winkler Meats, there's Pioneer Meats in Altona, there's Trail Meats in Neepawa and a couple of others are coming on stream as well.

What's happening is is these sows that are earmarked as part of the program are being sorted and then transported to these facilities, the abattoirs, for processing into ground pork.

The pork itself is being processed into two kg packages, 2.2 pounds, frozen and then we also have an agreement, actually a fabulous donation, from Gardewine North the trucking company in Manitoba that's actually picking up the processed pork, bringing it to Winnipeg Harvest and then we're re-sorting it for distribution to our agencies.

Stone says on average between four and six thousand pounds of pork are being processed per week and the meat comes into Winnipeg Harvest in 2.2 pound packages for distribution to participating agencies.

He says, because of changing economic conditions in the pork industry, producers have not been jumping onto the program as quickly as first thought so volumes of donated pork are not as high as had been anticipated.

5m Editor