The Illinois Corn Marketing Board is excited to be a part of the more than 1.6 million servings of pork provided by the Pork Power program. Today’s donation of 10,000 pounds at the Midwest Food Bank in Bloomington was a cooperative effort of Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA), Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), and Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) and a very unique and sought after opportunity to feed the hungry in central Illinois.
In 2008, IPPA launched Pork Power with the goal of helping fight hunger in Illinois. Since its inception, Illinois pig and grain farmers have generated more than 400,000 pounds of pork.
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.
Lou Lamoreux, a corn farmer from Lanark, Ill., and chairman of the IL Corn Marketing Board (www.ilcorn.org) 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 or pig farmers, but most importantly, our neighbors throughout Illinois will receive protein which is vital to everyone's nutritional needs. I’m glad that Illinois corn farmers can help make pork available at a local level.”
“Pork producers are committed to helping their neighbors throughout the state who are having difficulty feeding their families,” said Mike Haag, a pig farmer from Emington and board member of the IPPA (www.ilpork.com). “It is important that Illinois families have access to protein not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year as well. Illinois pig farmers are dedicated to producing safe, wholesome and affordable food and are proud to work with the partnering organizations to support the Midwest Food Bank and Steidinger Foods’ pork donation program.”
"As farmers, we believe it is our responsibility to feed the world," says John Hagenbuch, a farmer from Utica, Ill., and current Illinois Soybean Association (www.ilsoy.org) board member. "Illinois commodity groups work together toward that goal, and Pork Power is a great example. Illinois livestock, especially pigs, are the top consumers of Illinois soybeans, so through this donation, soybean farmers are doing their part to feed those in need in Illinois."
Each day, food banks provide access to healthy and nutritious food in an effort to keep families across Illinois from going to bed hungry. USDA recommends meat protein as part of a well-balanced and nutritious diet, yet it is often difficult for food banks to maintain an adequate supply. The Pork Power partners are committed to making meat protein available to those most in need. This donation will provide 40,000 servings of protein to people served by the Midwest Food Bank.
Midwest Food Bank (MFB) was created in 2003 when the Kieser family began providing food out of a shed on their family farm. MFB began by serving about 10 food pantries in McLean County. Today they serve over 755 organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Georgia and Florida. Food given out each month from the various MFB locations now reaches over 550,000 people.
“This donation by the pork, corn, and soybean groups will help bridge the gap between prosperity and poverty,” said David Kieser, President, Midwest Food Bank. "These groups have taken on the challenge of helping others, and they are doing so with a nutritious, high-quality product that is an important addition to our food bank.