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  • Kent Casson

Locker helps fight hunger

Chenoa Locker was among the processors contributing time and talents toward ground pork donations in 2020 through a fight hunger campaign.

As part of the campaign known as “Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Illinois,” more than 101,000 pounds of pork was donated to food banks around the state. Donations were made by the Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Corn Marketing Board and Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff.

Pork Power has generated over 922,000 pounds of pork since 2008 – which amounts to over three million servings for families around Illinois. Farmers and the partnering commodity groups work together to donate to the program year-round in order to help feed those in need.

“The Pork Power project is one of my favorite projects Illinois Corn invests in,” said Dirk Rice, ICMB Chairman. “As a farmer, I feel very connected to the job of feeding hungry people and this project allows all farmers all over Illinois to do just that.”

The Illinois Pork Producers Association turns remaining funds into ground pork toward the end of each calendar year and divides it among regional food banks in Illinois. As part of the year-end giving campaign, more than 47,900 pounds of pork was delivered to the food banks during November and December alone.

Midwest Food Bank in Bloomington was among those receiving pork in 2020 along with Central Illinois Food Bank in Springfield, Eastern Illinois Food Bank in Urbana, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Northern Illinois Food Bank in Rockford and the Peoria Area Food Bank.

Other local processors assisting with ground pork donations included: Slagel Family Meats and Steidinger Foods.

IPPA encourages pig farmers to participate in the program by covering processing fees of their donated pigs. Farmers can go to to learn more about the donation process. This program would not be possible without the help of local packers and processors across the state, and those who purchased a themed t-shirt that profited the program.

“Now more than ever, we see the need to support our communities by supplying those in need with high quality protein,” states IPPA board president Dale Weitekamp.

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