In the midst of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Pork Board and the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences teamed up to provide ground pork for families in need. Nearly 12,300 pounds of ground pork has been donated to Second Harvest Heartland, who will distribute it to various food shelves and other meal program partners.
"No one should be asked to fight this virus hungry," says Allison O'Toole, Second Harvest Heartland CEO. "We're incredibly grateful for this partnership with the Minnesota Pork Board and the University of Minnesota, as it allows us to continually distribute nutritious, fresh protein at a time when hunger is at an all-time high."
The donation was made possible by Minnesota pig farmers, the CFANS Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science and Second Harvest Heartland's Farm to Food Shelf grant dollars. Due to COVID-19 disruptions in many meat packing facilities, the lab opened its doors to continue processing operations to help families in need.
"The need for food assistance in our communities is more urgent than ever," says Brian Buhr, Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minneosta and Second Harvest Heartland board member. "We are thankful for this significant donation of pigs from Minnesota producers, and appreciate the opportunity to process this much-needed protein into ground pork for people in need."
Minnesota pig farmers, the University of Minnesota, and Second Harvest Heartland expect to continue this partnership throughout the summer of 2020.