United Way and Farm Bureau Food Donation
Farm Bureau and the United Way teamed up to provide food to the local area. The United Way of the Mark Twain Area distributed 8,400 pounds of pork to food pantries and senior centers in Northeast Missouri as one of the projects the organization has tackled in response to COVID-19. It is the second major donation of pork that the United Way has coordinated in the last two months. The pork, which would have a price tag of over $24,000 if purchased at retail locations, was donated to the community during a time when it was crucially needed. Families across Northeast Missouri have been severely impacted because of the financial disaster created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Food pantries are being are strained as the need is higher now than at any time since the Great Recession more than 12 years ago. The increased reliance on food pantries results in an increased need for food. "In April, the Emergency Food Pantry at Douglass Community Services saw 52% of our clients coming for the first time,” shared Stacey Nicholas, the Community Outreach Initiatives Director at Douglass Community Services in Hannibal who oversees the organization’s food pantry. “The economy and public health issues are resulting in more people needing assistance.” Hogs to provide the pork were raised on local farms by farmers who contract with JBS Pork. Due to the shutdown of processing plants, the hogs were available if a processor could be found that had availability to butcher the hogs. United Way of the Mark Twain Area 3062 Highway 61 North P.O. Box 81 Hannibal, MO 63401 573-221-2761 www.unitedwaymta.org “No one should have to go hungry and we were able to get these hogs where they needed to go,” said Andy Thomeczek, JBS Pork Field Manager for West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri. “JBS was more than happy to help.” In April when the first load of 100 hogs was available, Joe Kendrick, local Marion County Farmer and President of the Marion County Farm Bureau, worked alongside Ed Dent, former owner of the Country Butcher Shop in Palmyra, to find a processing plant that had availability to process hogs. They connected with Central Missouri Meats and sausage in Fulton, Mo. Since this time, Central Missouri Meats and Sausage has processed 426 hogs donated by JBS Pork to various communities. The pork delivered to Hannibal on Monday was from 100 hogs. This was the second set of 100 hogs coming to United Way (for a total of pork from 200 hogs). The processing on a load of 100 hogs costs $9,500. Farm Bureau boards in Adair/Schuyler, Howard, Knox, Linn, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Ralls, Randolph, and Shelby Counties stepped up with funding that was then matched by the Missouri Farm Bureau Foundation to pay for much of the processing of these hogs. Several Farm Bureau members also made individual donations to assist with the processing for a total contribution of $6,700 from Farm Bureau to help pay for the processing. The remaining dollars needed for the processing came from other gifts given to United Way’s COVID-19 Response Fund. “It has been an honor and a privilege for Missouri Farm Bureau and it’s county boards to be part of such a great project,” said Mindy Breid, Missouri Farm Bureau’s Northeast Regional Coordinator who is from Madison, Mo. “When an opportunity comes along for us to serve our communities, we are always excited to take part. In these every changing times, it is important for us to support one another.” Transportation to get the pork back to Hannibal was provided by Brain Gaines Trucking from Bowen, IL. Pork was distributed to organizations in Adair, Howard, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, and Shelby Counties. “Through efforts of the Farm Bureau and the United Way of the Mark Twain Area, Douglass Community Services and other local organizations will continue to be on the front line of fighting hunger," shared Nicholas. United Way continues to provide financial support to local organizations working in the community to assist individuals throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Contributions can be made to United Way’s COVID-19 Response Fund by sending payment to PO Box 81 Hannibal, MO 63401, giving online at unitedwaymta.org/donate, or donating through Facebook. The United Way of the Mark Twain Area works towards the mission, “to increase the capacity of people to care for one another.” This is done by creating opportunities for individuals to give of their time, talents, and treasures to local organizations that work to empower all individuals to achieve their potential through education, financial stability, and healthy lives.
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