1 Million Meals to Feed Ohio’s Hungry
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In time for the Easter holiday, a donation will provide more than 88,000 meals for hungry Ohio families.
More than 1,700 pounds of pork in the form of sausage are being donated to food banks in Ohio this week as part of the annual Ohio Pork Power program.
David Shoup is a veterinarian, swine producer and a board member of the Ohio Pork Producers Council in Wayne County. His product is part of the donation and he says pig farming has been good to the families involved, beyond just making a living.
"We really feel that we've been able to pass values onto our children that were passed onto those before us,” he says. “We really try to do our best to leave the world a better place for the future as much as it depends on us, and we think a part of that is to share our blessings with those in need."
Shoup says at least 15 Ohio family farms have participated in the program since it began in 2009. And this year it marks the milestone of 1 million meals donated.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than one-in-six Ohio households face food insecurity.
And Shoup says he's glad to be able to provide such a highly nutritious donation to help those who struggle to make ends meet.
"Beyond vitamins, minerals, water and calories, good quality protein, as pork is, it's just absolutely necessary for the diets of all but especially those of children,” he points out. “Protein deprivation at a young age can be detrimental throughout life by limiting proper development both physically and mentally."
Shoup adds that the Ohio Pork Power program is a team effort involving the Ohio Pork Producers Council, the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, the Ohio Association of Meat Processors and the Ohio Corn Marketing Program.