As part of Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger In Illinois Campaign, Illinois pig farmers recently gifted Central Illinois Foodbank with over 5,000 pounds of ground pork.
This donation has been distributed to several Foodbank partner agencies, including Carlinville Good Samaritan Ministries, Gillespie Caring Center, Montgomery County CEFS, Morrisonville-Palmer Food Pantry, Nokomis Food Pantry, Panhandle Food Pantry and St. Clare Food Pantry in Litchfield.
“A little over ten years ago, I was made aware of the shortage of protein available for distribution through our foodbanks and pantries,” said Phil Borgic, owner of Borgic Farms. “With the help of Illinois corn and soybean farmers, Magro’s Meat and Produce, our grower partners and employees, Karen and I are bringing pork protein to Central Illinois Foodbank for distribution to areas where our pigs are raised. We strive to go the extra mile for our neighbors and encourage others to do the same.”
Each day, Illinois food banks provide access to healthy and nutritious food to keep families across Illinois from going to bed hungry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends meat protein as part of a nutritious and healthy diet but because of limited supply it is often difficult for food banks to provide their food pantries and feeding sites with enough protein for families in need.
“Protein is something we all need in our diets, but it’s also one of the hardest food groups for us to obtain,” said Pam Molitoris, Central Illinois Foodbank executive director. “Through the generosity of the Illinois Pork Producers Association, we are able to provide healthy, nutritious foods to our neighbors in central and southern Illinois.”
In 2008, Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) launched Pork Power with the goal of helping fight hunger in Illinois. It provides a system for farmers to donate pork to food banks throughout Illinois.
Since its inception, Pork Power has generated over 625,000 pounds of pork, which is enough for more than 2.4 million meals, for families throughout Illinois. Pork, soybean and corn producers committed funds from their respective checkoff programs to support this program.
The Pork Power program is also an opportunity to promote pork as families are educated on how to prepare and incorporate pork into their favorite dishes. Families receive information on the important nutritional, mental and physical benefits of including protein in the diet.