Last year’s program saw record number of participants
Participants in the Hams Across America program have helped distribute over half a million pounds of pork in 2018, totalling nearly 2.2 million servings, in their efforts to combat U.S. food insecurity.
Hams Across America “highlights the diverse products produced by the pork industry at events across the nation,” said a Friday Pork Checkoff release
. Last year’s third annual program included donation events in Iowa, North Carolina, Minnesota, Ohio, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
The donation event in Illinois saw approximately 90,000 pounds of pork donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and in North Carolina, 42,000 pounds of pork were donated to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.
Last year’s program began on “Giving Tuesday,” or Nov. 27, and continued through the Christmas holiday. The program was supported by a record number of participants in 2018, as “more than 120 individuals and businesses contribut(ed) time, resources, and pork to the nationwide effort organized and managed by the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council, state pork associations, and U.S. pig farmers,” the release said. Prairie Fresh Pork and Smithfield Foods were also major contributors to last year’s program.
Hams Across America allows producers to practice the We Care ethical principles and show their passion for the product they produce, said Steve Rommereim, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota, in the release.
“As pig farmers, our We Care ethical principles are the core of who we are as farmers, and it is important for us to not only talk about them but to live them out every day,” he said.
Pork producers prioritize giving back to their communities, Claire Masker, Pork Checkoff’s director of sustainability communications, told Farms.com today.
The program “allows them to share their stories about how they pay-it-forward throughout the year,” she added.
The 2018 program further saw a significant increase in the number of participants who assisted with raising donations. Producers also promoted use of a social media initiative by using the hashtags #RealPigFarming and #HamsAcrossAmerica to encourage farmers to share their personal stories and experiences.
Updated Feb. 6, 2019.
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