"Food insecurity is a growing issue in Illinois and as a pig farmer it has always been important to me to provide much-needed protein to those hungry in our communities," said Mike Haag, a pig farmer from Illinois and president of IPPA. "The Illinois Pork Power Program and Hams Across America allows me and other farmers to live the We Care ethical principles and share our love of the product that we produce."
To combat this growing problem of food insecurity in Illinois, pig farmers across the state in coordination with IPPA launched the Pork Power Program in 2008. With a primary goal of getting the nutritious pork protein into the hands of those in need. The program has donated over 625,000 pounds of pork to food banks and independent pantries across the state in the past 10 years.
"We value the opportunity at Smithfield to join forces with our industry partners to support those in need," said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. "As a food company, we take great pride in our role to deliver food assistance across the country through our company's Helping Hungry Homes® hunger-relief program. With more than 2,500 employees in the state of Illinois, it's an incredible honor to provide this much-needed protein to a community we call home."
"We're so grateful we can a bring a bit of comfort and joy this holiday season by supporting hunger relief at the Greater Chicago Food Depository through Hams Across America," said Duke Sand, president and CEO of Seaboard Foods. "On behalf of all those in our connected food system at Seaboard Foods and Triumph Foods who raise and care for our pigs and produce pork for the Prairie Fresh® brand, we believe in supporting our neighbors next door or across the globe. Because of Hams Across America and U.S. pig farmers, many will enjoy delicious, wholesome pork meals for the holidays."
Pig farmers and those involved in the pork industry are encouraged to showcase the We CareSM ethical principle of contributing to a better way of life in their communities through Dec. 23 with Hams Across America. Individuals can participate by purchasing a gift of ham and paying it forward to loved ones and those in need. Participants are encouraged to share their pay-it-forward stories on social media using #RealPigFarming and #HamsAcrossAmerica.
About Illinois Pork Producers Association
The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) is an agricultural trade association representing more than 2,000 pork producers throughout Illinois and the Illinois pork industry, which contributes more than $1.8 billion and more than 10,500 jobs to the State's economy. IPPA is comprised of county pork producer organizations in approximately 20 counties throughout Illinois. IPPA is an affiliate of the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board.
About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan's Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus® and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Prairie Fresh® Pork
Prairie Fresh® Pork is the brand of a uniquely connected food system that is produced through a strategic partnership between Seaboard Foods and Triumph Foods, and marketed and sold by Seaboard Foods. Together, the companies relentlessly seek a better way to produce wholesome Prairie Fresh® pork by purposely connecting every step between its farms and family tables around the world ensuring the well-being of its animals, the environment, employees and the communities they call home. To learn more, visit PrairieFresh.com or follow on Instagram @prairiefreshmeats.com.
About the National Pork Board
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.
About the National Pork Producers Council
NPPC is the global voice for the U.S. pork industry, protecting the livelihoods of America's 60,000 pork producers, who abide by ethical principles in caring for their animals, in protecting the environment and public health and in providing safe, wholesome, nutritious pork products to consumers worldwide. For more information, visit www.nppc.org.