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Pig farmers step up to help hungry during pandemic

Missouri farmers and agribusinesses are working together to fill the state's food banks with pork.

May 20, 2020

2 Min Read
Illustration of a ribbon and the words Food Bank
GIFT OF PORK: Missouri’s agriculture industry and its pig farmers are providing pork to food banks across the state. Aquir/Getty Images

Missouri pig farmers are connecting with local processors to donate pork for the state’s food banks.

The Missouri Pork Association and Missouri Farmers Care announced they are teaming up to provide high-quality protein to families in need. Each hog processed into ground pork yields more than 200 pounds of high-quality protein. This equates to more than 900 servings of food for hungry children and families across Missouri.

"This is a proactive step to give farmers options to cut food waste and support their communities," Don Nikodim, executive director of the Missouri Pork Association, said in a news release. "Our partners across agriculture are raising funds to cover processing and transportation costs. It's encouraging to see farmers working together to help in a time of need."

Related: Complete coronavirus coverage

Helping hungry during COVID-19 pandemic

More than $100,000 already has been raised for the effort. Missouri's agricultural organizations and businesses — including Missouri Farm Bureau Federation; Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance; Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council; Missouri Soybean Association; FCS Financial; MFA Inc.; Archer Daniels Midland; Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, founders of Protect the Harvest; Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Paseo Biofuels LLC; and Biofuels LLC — have donated funds to cover processing and transportation costs in partnership with Feeding Missouri and its network of food banks across the state.

According to Feeding Missouri, 1.2 million Missourians faced food insecurity before the COVID-19 crisis, including 1 in 5 people in rural areas. The situation has only worsened with recent job losses. The Drive to Feed Kids works to reduce food insecurity across Missouri.

More pigs, processors needed

Several pork processors have suspended operations or reduced capacity because of COVID-19 and related regulations. This is straining the pork supply chain and making it harder for food-insecure children and families to find affordable protein.

The slowdowns and closures have caused a backlog of market-ready animals on Missouri farms. Without processors to harvest and process the pork, consumer-ready cuts cannot be delivered to grocery stores.

Missouri's agriculture community is stepping up to help through Missouri Farmers Care's annual Drive to Feed Kids. The Missouri Pork Association and Missouri Farmers Care are seeking out local meat processors willing to help reduce the backlog. Farmers are donating these backlogged pigs to be processed and given to families in need.

Pig farmers and meat processors can take part by contacting the Missouri Pork Association. Individuals and companies can donate funds to support the effort at mofarmerscare.com.

Source: Missouri Farmers Care, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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