The Pork Industry Gives Back: Hams for the Holidays

Ahead of the holidays, several companies gave the gift of pork to their local food pantries or to their employees. Here’s a quick snapshot of gifts across the industry.

Pipestone donates more than 1 million servings of pork through “Give a Helping Ham program

During Pipestone’s fourth annual “Give a Helping Ham” the company paired with local grocery stores to provide pork products to food insecure families. For every pound of ham purchased from 23 participating grocery stores from November 18-27, Pipestone would donate a pound of pork in return, according to a company release.

“Protein continues to remain on the needs list for food banks serving families with food insecurity in our local communities.” stated Dr. Luke Minion, CEO of Pipestone in the release.  “We are honored to help serve that need by partnering with local grocery stores and food banks on the Give a Helping Ham program.”

As a result of the promotion, Pipestone donated over 110,000 pounds of pork to local food banks this year. Over the last four years the Give a Helping Ham program has donated over 350,000 pounds of pork to local food banks, providing over 1 million 4-oz servings of protein, the release states.

Missouri Pig Farmers, Smithfield Foods and Prairie Fresh Pork donate more than 70,000 pounds of protein and $5,000 to Feeding Missouri

The Missouri Pork Association, Smithfield Foods Inc., Prairie Fresh Pork and Missouri pig farmers teamed up to provide over 70,000 pounds of pork and $5,000 to Feeding Missouri, according to a release from the groups. The donation was part of the annual Hams Across America program, which highlights the industry's We Care ethical principles to contribute to a better way of life in local communities through pork product donations.

"We know that many of our neighbors are in need of extra help this holiday season, with one in seven people in Missouri struggling with hunger," said Chris Chinn, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, who is also a pig farmer, in the release. "Being good neighbors and helping those in need is important to everyone in our industry. This donation, in partnership with Smithfield Foods and Prairie Fresh Pork, allows us to live the We Care ethical principles and share our love of the product that we produce."

The 280,000 servings of pork were distributed state-wide to the six Missouri Food Banks, that are a part of Feeding Missouri. Feeding Missouri is a coalition of food banks that provides hunger relief programs in every county (and St. Louis City) in the state. Feeding Missouri will use the funds provided by the Missouri Pork Association to purchase additional pork products for their clients, the release states.

Farmweld donates 1,770 pounds of pork to food pantries

Farmweld of Teutopolis and Illinois Pork Producers donated 1,770 pounds of ground pork to three local food pantries ahead of the holidays. The pork was given to Catholic Charities of Teutopolis, Enduring Freedom Ministries of Shumway and The Master’s Hands of Newton, according to a company release.  

“Donations like those always mean so much to me and Catholic Charities,” Nickie Farris said in the release. “We couldn’t do what we do without the help from organizations like Farmweld.”

According to Farris, Catholic Charities served 9,887 households, 30,947 individuals and 10,444 children from July 1, 2018 to June 30.

Production Manager Jonathan Wakefield, a Shumway area native, represented Farmweld Wednesday at Enduring Freedom Ministries in Shumway.

“This is our way of giving back to the community,” Wakefield said. “And a way to show we care.”

Enduring Freedom Ministries Executive Director Vickie Kight gave Wakefield a tour of Enduring Freedom Ministries, showing him a new heater the ministries purchased and new shelving they recently received for their food pantry. The pork will be distributed with ingredients to prepare an entire meal. She said a special place is reserved on their pantry shelving for meal preparation, according to the release.

Enduring Freedom Ministries holds fundraisers throughout the year. They hope to one day purchase a 20 ft. truck to pick up pallets of food. Kight said with a 20 ft. truck they can get 8 to 10 pallets loaded at one time.

At the time the release was published, Farmweld was anticipating the visit to The Master’s Hands food pantry in Newton.

NEW Cooperative donates hams to food-insecure families in the community

NEW Cooperative Inc., based in Fort Dodge, Iowa, distributed about 2,000 free hams to food-insecure families in their community. About 1,200 of those hams were given to people who received a coupon from Upper Des Moines Opportunity Inc., and another 800 hams were given 17 food pantries in the 13 counties where NEW Cooperative facilities are located, according to a release from the company.

“In our minds, we’re in the business of producing food and it’s just a natural fit and a way to give back to some of the less fortunate people in these communities,” said NEW Cooperative General Manager Dan Dix in the release.

Nebraska pig farmers “Pay it Forward”

The Nebraska Pork Producers Association continued its commitment to the “Hams Across America” program in 2019 by donating approximately 2,700 pounds of ham to organizations across Nebraska, according to an association release. In the past, donations have gone entirely to the Lincoln and Omaha areas, but due to the generosity and matching funds provided by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Nebraska distribution was expanded to include Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Columbus, Fremont, Norfolk and Broken Bow.

NPPA President Tim Chancellor enthusiastically supported Hams Across America activities and even donated half of the Broken Bow hams himself. “These organizations do so much to fight hunger in our Nebraska communities,” he said in the release, “that it feels terrific to offer an assist by donating some of the high-quality pork products we produce here in Nebraska.”

The National Pork Board’s pork trailer was on hand in Omaha December 19 to help distribute the hams there and to help raise awareness for the promotion, the release says.

Kinze Manufacturing gives employees a turkey or ham for the holidays

Kinze Manufacturing, a global manufacturer of row crop planters, grain carts and high-speed tillage equipment, gives its employees a ham or turkey for the holidays.



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