At Indiana Pork’s Ham Breakfast which kicked off the State Fair, Tade Powell of First Farmers Bank and Trust presented Emily Bryant of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry a check for $10,000. “Her network of connections with Indiana food banks across the state is unprecedented. It is very well orchestrated and very well organized. We are thrilled to be part of putting pork in Indiana kids’ bellies,” said Powell. The funds will be used to provide ground pork to food banks around the state.
Jeff Rodibaugh, with First Farmers Bank, said pork is something food banks desperately need and want. “Indiana consumers always appreciate the consumption of pork. It is one of the largest commodity proteins consumed. This was a great opportunity for us to step up and provide pork to food banks that often find it hard to get,” he stated.
In 2020, Rodibaugh and First Farmers Bank were instrumental in connecting pork producers with local processors to get pork to food banks around the state. This effort has helped create a new market opportunity for smaller pork operations and local processors. “Covid taught us that distribution of food is key. It is how you connect the production side and the consumption side and fill that gap in between,” he said. As a result of these efforts, many local processors have received grants and funding to upgrade and expand their facilities to meet the growing demand by consumers for locally produced food. “This has helped create a new market for many smaller pork operations,” said Rodibaugh.
In total, over $100,000 worth of pork will be purchased in 2021 for donations to food banks supported by Feeding Indian’s Hungry. Through their 11 food banks which reach all 92 counties, they distribute over 156 million pounds of food. They estimate that there are over 900,000 Hoosiers who are food insecure.