During the holidays we look forward to connecting with family and friends and enjoying a delicious meal with the prized ham featured in the center of the table. However, many individuals in our communities are food insecure, and without organizations like Feeding America, would have limited to no protein to serve their families.
PIPESTONE (a veterinary service and sow management company) recognizes this need and teamed up with local grocery stores on a project called Give a Helping Ham.
“There are an astounding number of families in our community that are food insecure. Give a Helping Ham is an easy way to get the community involved in giving back and providing families with some nutritious protein that they may not otherwise have,” said Dr. Luke Minion, CEO of Pipestone.
For every pound of ham purchased from a participating store Nov 14th – 24th PIPESTONE would donate a pound of pork in return. In total, fifteen grocery stores participated including Coborn’s in Pipestone, MN, seven Sioux Falls, SD Hy-Vee stores, three Ottumwa, IA Hy-Vees, three Waterloo, IA Hy-Vees and the Sycamore, IL Hy-Vee. 618 pounds were donated to the Pipestone Food Shelf, 5,062 pounds to the Food Bank of Northern Illinois, 11,127 pounds to Food Bank of Iowa, 13,609 pounds to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, and 52,169 pounds to Feeding South Dakota.
If you entered one of these stores the ten days before Thanksgiving, you were likely greeted by some signs promoting the event, and hopefully had the opportunity to participate. Because of the program, PIPESTONE donated over 82,500 pounds of pork or over 330,0000 pork servings to local food banks.
“This is the largest one-time donation of protein Feeding South Dakota has ever received,” said Matt Gassen, CEO of Feeding South Dakota. “We are so thankful for PIPESTONE and their work on this program. There are so many families that will enjoy the donated pork loin during the holidays and we couldn’t be more thankful to PIPESTONE for making that possible.”
Of course, our food banks/shelves need more than monetary donations to continue to serve in our communities. Please consider helping out as a volunteer and contact your local food shelf to see what their needs may be.