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Meat is something that many food pantries in northeast Missouri recently haven’t been able to provide to families turning to them for help.
However, due to the generosity of some local farmers, several food pantries now have ground pork to give out to their clients. Local senior centers also have quality meat that they will be able to prepare for their client meals.
On Friday, June 23, over 2,000 pounds of ground pork along with full pork loins and racks of ribs were donated to local food pantries and senior centers through United Way’s special initiative, Aly’s Project.
United Way received a donation of 17 hogs. The meat from those hogs was processed at local butcher shops including White Barn Processing and Lumley Locker.
The meat was then distributed amongst local food pantries including the Monroe City Food Pantry, Palmyra Food Pantry, Salvation Army Food Pantry and the pantry at Douglass Community Services.
Additionally, senior centers including the Paris Senior Nutrition Center, Monroe City Senior Nutrition Center, Shelby County Senior Citizens, and Heartland Resources in Ewing all received pork that they can use in their daily meals.
Through Aly’s Project, farmers can donate livestock to benefit local food pantries and senior centers. Dollars in the Aly’s Project fund pays for the processing of those animals at a local butcher shop.
Originally, Aly’s Project was launched to encourage youth to donate livestock they raise through 4H and FFA to local food pantries and senior centers. During the COVID-19 crisis this project expanded to pay for the processing of any donated livestock.
Meat received through this Aly’s Project donation will provide a vital source of protein to local families. This quality of meat is not something that is common for families to receive at pantries and will certainly be treasured.
“In 2022, food prices rose nearly twelve percent,” said Stacey Nicholas, the COO at Douglass Community Services who oversees their food pantry.
“Already this year, food prices have risen four percent. For both our families and our donors, protein sources, like pork, are being priced out of their range. This donation gives our families an opportunity to enjoy healthy, locally produced meat.”
At Douglass, nearly 50 percent of the clients accessing food from their food pantry are over 60 or are under 18. Over 20 percent of the people getting food from
their pantry are disabled. These numbers are similar at other food pantries that also received meat.
For senior centers, this meat was found as a great asset as well. Heartland Resources in Ewing provides in-house dining and meals on wheels throughout Lewis County. Their organization serves over 75 seniors through their nutrition program each weekday.
“The increasing cost of food has really impacted our budget. Meat is extremely costly,” said Linda Lueckenhoff, the secretary of the board for Heartland Resources.
“Getting this donation not only saves us money but gives us a high-quality meat source to prepare a variety of healthy meals for the local seniors who truly depend upon our services.”
If livestock producers are interested in donating an animal to a local food pantry or senior center through Aly’s Project, they are encouraged to reach out to United Way by calling 573-221-2761.
Additionally, financial donations to pay for the processing costs of donated livestock are needed.
Donations can be sent to United Way at PO Box 81, Hannibal Mo 63401 with the designation of Aly’s Project in the memo or made online at https://unitedwaymta.harnessgiving.org/campaigns/11087