MOLINE, IL — The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA), Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) and the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) today presented River Bend Foodbank with more than 4,000 pounds of ground pork as part of the Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Illinois campaign.
The donation was part of the 32,000 pounds of donated pork products that was distributed to the eight regional food banks associated with Feeding Illinois, which provides food to nearly 2,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters that feed nearly 900,000 residents throughout the state of Illinois.
IPPA continued the Pork Power program during 2009 and partnered with ICMB, ISA and the Illinois Association of Meat Processors (IAMP) to build upon the success of the 2008 campaign in which the partners provided more than 100,000 pounds of donated pork to food banks in Illinois. The 32,000 pound donation put the 2009 total to more than 110,000 pounds of donated pork. 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.
“Pork producers are committed to helping their neighbors throughout the state who are having difficulty feeding their families, at a time when many pork producers have been struggling as well,” said Mark DeDecker, a pork producer from Cambridge and current board member of the IL Pork Producers Association (www.ilpork.com). “Illinois pork producers are dedicated to producing safe, wholesome and affordable food and are proud to work with the partnering organizations to support the Central Illinois Foodbank and Feeding Illinois.”
Jim Rapp, a corn producer from Princeton, Ill., and Chair of the IL Corn Marketing Board agrees that the partnership is the right thing to do at the right time. “This type of project is a winning situation for everyone involved, not just the Corn Marketing Board (www.ilcorn.org) or pork producers, but most importantly, our neighbors throughout Illinois will receive protein which is vital to everyone's nutritional needs.”
Pork Power is a natural partnership for soybean growers, says Rowen Ziegler, a soybean grower from LaHarpe, Ill., and board member of the Illinois Soybean Association (www.ilsoy.org). “It is important for all of the Illinois commodity groups to work together for a common goal,” Shirley said. “As farmers, it is our responsibility to feed the world. The Pork Power program helps us start by feeding those in need in Illinois while also promoting the livestock industry, which is the top consumer of soybeans.”
"We are so grateful for this donation of nutritious protein,” said Tom Laughlin, Executive Director of River Bend Foodbank. “Food banks around Illinois have seen on average a 30 percent increase in the number of people seeking food assistance in the past year. Because of partners like the IL Pork Producers Association, IL Soybean Association, and IL Corn Marketing Board we will be able to put food on the table for thousands of people throughout Illinois.”