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'Pork Power' Donates 102,562 lbs. of Pork

by 5m Editor
20 November 2008, at 1:54pm

ILLINOIS - The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) announced yesterday (November 19) that "Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Illinois" has donated 102,562 pound of pork to eight Illinois food banks-exceeding the initial program goal of 100,000 pounds.

The announcement came during a brunch held yesterday morning at the Central Illinois Food Bank (CIFB) to commemorate the Pork Power initiative. Agriculture Director Tom Jennings spoke to the brunch attendees and noted how important this program is in today's economic condition. "Whether it's a neighbor who's hurt and can't tend to his fields or someone who's down on his luck and can't feed his family, Illinois farmers always have been willing to lend a helping hand. I'm proud of everyone involved in this initiative. As we all know, these are difficult times. More people will likely turn to food banks for assistance and generous donations like this will be needed to meet their needs."

Pork Power was launched May 19, 2008 as a partnership with the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), the Illinois Association of Meat Processors (IAMP) and CIFB to provide much needed protein to Illinois residents utilizing food assistance programs. Pork producers across the state donated hogs for the initiative, and funding from partners covered the reduced fees for meat processing.

"Nutritionists tell us that a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes lean protein is important for managing weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure," says Phil Borgic, a pork producer from Nokomis and current IPPA President. "It is important that Illinois families have access to the nutrients they need not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year as well. Illinois pork producers are dedicated to producing safe, wholesome and affordable food and are proud to work with the sponsoring organizations to make Pork Power a valuable program for the food banks and our neighbors in need throughout the state."

Jim Macky, Director of Kiwanis of Winchester Food Pantry, which received some of the donated pork, agreed that access to protein is vital for those they serve. "The pork was significant to us because along with USDA product, the extra pork enabled us to give a protein product to every person we serve. Typically, only half of the families are able to receive protein. The families reported back and the pork was a great success."

CIFB has coordinated delivery and distribution of the donated pork among eight Illinois food banks associated with America's Second Harvest - the Nation's largest charitable hunger-relief organization. Second Harvest food banks provide emergency food assistance to 900,000 residents across Illinois.

"Pork producers are committed to the communities in which they live," said Borgic. "We are proud they embraced Pork Power as an opportunity to help their neighbors in need."

5m Editor