Iowa Pig Farmers Donate $43,000 of Pork to Local Food Banks

May 20, 2024

Pork producers across Iowa donated more than $43,000 worth of pork to local food pantries during the past few months. It was done in conjunction with the Pork in the Pantry program, organized by the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA).

Its second year, Pork in the Pantry provided up to $1,000 to each of the 38 county pork producer organizations that participated. Counties are responsible for purchasing the pork and donating it, and IPPA reimburses them.

“Food insecurity remains a major issue in Iowa, and these donations to local food pantries will help,” said IPPA President Matt Gent. “Pork producers care a lot about their communities, and this is one of the many ways we show it.”

Food pantries are frequently short of meat products, officials say, and these pork donations will provide an estimated 55,000 servings of protein for Iowans facing food insecurity.

“Hunger is rising in Iowa,” said Linda Gorkow, executive director of the Iowa Food Bank Association. “Pork in the Pantry is an incredible opportunity to ensure greatly needed protein is provided to families, individuals and seniors who don’t have enough food to eat.

"Protein is one of the highest-requested items at food banks and pantries across the state," she added, "so every ounce of the pork donated will make an incredible impact.”

In addition, many county groups purchased the pork from local businesses to keep those dollars within their communities.

“What a tremendous opportunity for pork producers to help support needs throughout the state of Iowa,” said Gregg Hora, president of the Webster County Pork Producers, who participated in Pork in the Pantry for the second time. The group donated to five different organizations in the county, including four in Fort Dodge and one in Gowrie.

“The needs — not only in Webster County, but in rural Iowa — are there,” Hora said. “You look at the rising cost of food in a lot of different areas. Pork is still a high-quality product at a very reasonable price in the stores. The sense that we have families out here or kids out here who don’t get enough quality protein is real, and by providing this pork loin product, that’s just one way to help from a nutritional aspect.”

Last year’s Pork in the Pantry resulted in more than $40,000 worth of pork being donated to local food pantries.

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