The Covid19 pandemic has hit our nation hard, especially the food and food processing industries. Plants were closed down, backing up the whole supply chain. Farmers didn’t have anywhere for their livestock to go. So what do good midwestern people do during a pandemic? Create opportunity and push through. Our company has had the opportunity to be a part of two awesome programs during this COVID19 pandemic. Both of which have gotten people back to work and helped those in need!
In the first week of June, our Sidney plant superintendent Jeremy Wake received another load of Iowa Select Farms’ pigs for “Pass the Pork”, a movement that helps Iowa pig farmers donate meat to food bank feeding programs. This was initiated by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig, and the Iowa Pork Producers. Through “Pass the Pork,” Iowa pig farmers donate pigs to Iowa food bank feeding programs. Local meat processors, like us, have extended their hours of operation to process and package the pork donations to help meet the growing demand for food bank and food pantry resources. Iowa food banks are getting the pork into the hands of those in need. And this initiative got our people back to work after being closed for a month!
“I love my job and take a lot of pride in helping feed people,” Wake said. “This is the fifth load of pigs we’ve received for ‘Pass the Pork’ and I think it’s great that we’re now expanding our reach to work with farmers to help feed Iowans in need.”
The other program we partnered with was Farmers to Families Food Box Program. As part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the USDA authorized the purchase and distribution of agricultural products to those in need under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Through this program, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service partnered with national, regional, and local distributors whose workforces had been greatly impacted by the pandemic. Hotels, restaurants, and other food service businesses were greatly impacted by the effects of coronavirus on the food and food processing industries. This program started with purchasing $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat products from American producers, including our company! These products were put into family size boxes and then transported to food banks and other non profit organizations. Since the beginning of this program at the start of the pandemic, 50 million boxes have been delivered!
While the Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone in this country in so many different ways, it is reassuring to see people pulling together to help as much as possible. Our community and our employees are of the utmost importance, and with that, we will pull through.