Texas Pork Producers Help Food Insecure Families

TPPA staff Brooke Blum and Brandon Gunn pictured with Faith Baxter of Dripping Springs FFA, who founded Center of the Plate with her older sister Grace. ( Texas Pork Producers Association )

The Texas Pork Producers Association (TPPA) and Quick Fire Meats by Prairie Fresh came together to donate 1,600 pounds of pork to the Center of the Plate program. Center of the Plate is a non-profit that focuses on giving meat protein to families in need in the Dripping Springs, Texas, community, according to a release from TPPA.

“We are glad we could help out; Texas pork producers place great value in giving back to the communities in which they live and work,” says Brandon Gunn, TPPA executive vice president.

Center of the Plate was founded by Grace and Faith Baxter of the Dripping Springs FFA and 4-H and is run by a steering committee of youth. In the last four years, Center of the Plate has provided 6,400 pounds of pork and beef to food-insecure families, which is about 34,000 meals.

The non-profit started out by helping a select number of families, but quickly grew, collaborating with other organizations such as Helping Hands, School’s Out-Food’s In and Tiger Totes, to help identify a larger group of families in need.

One of Center of the Plate’s most important partners is the Dripping Springs Presbyterian Church, which stores the meat in its freezers, where families can stop by each week to fulfil their protein needs, the release states. It has eight freezers and the capacity to store 320 pounds of pork and beef for the families in need. The group also has additional sponsors to help with meat processing costs.

Center of the Plate also works with other community organizations such as Helping Hands, School’s Out-Food’s In and Tiger Totes.

“It is very rewarding to work with such a great organization like this. What this group is doing is truly incredible and so selfless. I am glad we were able to not only help Faith and Grace’s dreams become reality, and also give back to the Dripping Springs community,” says Brooke Blum, TPPA director of communications and member outreach, in the release.

Center of the Plate hopes to continue to grow in the future and serve more families in the Dripping Springs and surrounding areas, which will provide opportunities for more producers to become involved with the organization.

“Support by pork and beef producers is essential to the success of our efforts to impact a wider group of food insecure families. When families receive meat from Center of the Plate for the very first time, the look on their faces makes all the hard work worth it,” says Faith Baxter.