When it comes to giving back to their communities, pig farmers across the U.S. like to adopt the "go big or go home attitude," and this year is no different. Yesterday, on Giving Tuesday, U.S. pig farmers, the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), Smithfield Foods, Inc., Prairie Fresh Pork, JBS USA Pork and state pork associations kicked off the fourth annual Hams Across America campaign.
“Each year Hams Across America kicks off on Giving Tuesday, which is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving," said David Newman, president of the National Pork Board. The programs concept is simple: Give a ham to those in need or to those you care about this holiday season.”
Pig farmers and those involved in the pork industry are encouraged to extend their giving through Dec. 23 with Hams Across America. Individuals can participate by purchasing a gift of ham (or any pork product) and paying it forward to those in need. Participants are encouraged to share their pay-it-forward stories on social media using #HamsAcrossAmerica and #GiveAHam. They also are encouraged to challenge others they know to pay it forward and to share how they live the We Care ethical principles. The We Care principles include: Food Safety, Animal Well-Being, Public Health, Environment, Our People and Our Community.
“Hams Across America illustrates key We Care value of America's pork producers – community support,” said National Pork Producers Council President David Herring. “We’re honored to share our products with those in need so they can enjoy delicious, healthy meals this holiday season.”
The National Pork Board and the NPPC are partnering with many state pork associations across the United States to extend the Hams Across America campaign through the holiday season.
These events include:
- The Iowa Pork Producers Association will team with law enforcement across the state, packing meals to fight food insecurity through the Arresting Hunger campaign. Iowa Pork also will serve breakfast to clients of the Central Iowa Shelter and Services on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
- The Tennessee Pork Producers Association will partner with PFG Nashville to serve breakfast to clients of the Nashville Rescue Mission.
- The Missouri Pork Producers Association will donate $5,000 to the Food Bank of Central & Northeast Missouri. Also, Smithfield Foods and Prairie Fresh Pork will donate nearly 70,000 pounds of pork on Dec. 10.
- The Wisconsin Pork Producers Association is partnering with Compeer Financial to donate fresh hams to Wisconsin food banks.
- The Colorado Pork Producers Association will donate $10,000 to the Food Bank of the Rockies. Smithfield Foods and JBS USA Pork also will donate over 50,000 pounds of pork on Dec. 19.
- The Nebraska Pork Producers Association will distribute hams to homeless shelters in Omaha and Lincoln areas.
“Smithfield Foods is proud to again be a part of Hams Across America and to contribute protein to those in need this holiday season,” said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “Hunger relief is at the center of everything we do at Smithfield, and we are humbled to be able to provide support through this partnership with the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council.”
“Our producers at Seaboard Foods and Triumph Foods believe it’s important to support our communities and neighbors whether they are next door or across the country,” said David Eaheart, senior director of communications and Prairie Fresh brand marketing at Seaboard Foods. “With the hope of making the holiday season brighter for those facing food insecurity, we’re glad to join the National Pork Board, NPPC and other U.S. pig farmers in supporting Hams Across America with our Prairie Fresh pork products.”
JBS USA Pork is proud to support the Hams Across America campaign with a donation of 20,000 pounds of pork to the Food Bank of the Rockies. “Hunger relief is an integral part of JBS and we are grateful to be included in this incredible nationwide effort to help feed our communities,” says Bob Krebs, president at JBS USA Pork.
This year, the National Pork Board is partnering with nine YouTube creators who will put their own spin on paying it forward with pork to share the message with consumers. The #HamsAcrossAmerica YouTube campaign runs through the end of the year and is projected to engage 5 million viewers. The roster of creators includes Good Mythical Morning, Guga Foods, HellthyJunkFood and Binging with Babish. The campaign video playlist and more information on how to get involved can be found at pork.org/HamsAcrossAmerica.
“Partnering with influencers to share our pork story has been an important piece of our digital strategy. This is especially important since YouTube reaches 95% of Gen Z, a demographic with whom we need to start building relationships with now,” Newman said. “We are excited for these amazing creators to help share pig farmers’ commitment to our communities.”