Pork, as with other meat products, is a great source of protein, and protein is often absent in food assistance programs. The expense of meat products, and the inability to handle such a perishable food, usually excludes this vital food group. This results in a diet severely deficient in protein, minerals and essential vitamins, which are extremely important for growing children and pregnant or nursing mothers.
The Promise for Protein program is addressing this serious problem and attempting to solve it. The program accepts donated animals from producers and then organizes the logistics and provides processing costs to prepare the packaged meat products. Promise for Protein is working with individuals, companies, and organizations to acquire tax deductible donations to pay for these processing costs. The Indianapolis division of the Midwest Food Bank, located on the south side of Indianapolis, receives the meat, stores it at their facility in large freezers, and then distributes it to over 220 food banks, pantries and shelters in more than 40 counties in Indiana. John Whitaker, the Director of the Indianapolis Midwest Food Bank, stated, “In these difficult economic times, many people are in need of assistance, and nutritious food is a critical element in maintaining good health. We are very thankful for the efforts of companies like JBS United and others that contribute this vital protein source.”
Promise for Protein is a great resource for individuals and families in need. Producers donate animals for processing, and individuals and companies provide monetary donations to help pay for the processing and packaging costs. JBS United is the developer of this program, and is currently the program’s primary pork provider, donating 10 pigs per week since December of 2010. Dr. Joel Spencer, a nutritionist at JBS United commented that, “The meat products offered by JBS United and the Promise for Protein program provide a balanced and highly available protein that is essential for physical well being, immune system development and intellectual development. We are honored to be a part of this important effort.” Spencer and JBS United are also working with the Indiana Pork Producers Association and their Million Meals Campaign, to grow this effort and provide this vital food group to those needing food assistance. To learn more about the Promise for Protein program and the Midwest Food Bank, or to understand how you may be able to contribute, contact them at the phone numbers below.
- Midwest Food Bank: 317-786-8980, 6450 S. Belmont Street, Indianapolis, IN 46217, www.midwestfoodbank.org
About JBS United
Since its founding in 1956, JBS United has been dedicated to providing research-based solutions to enhance animal nutrition and livestock production. The company, and it’s over 400 employees, provides various animal nutrition products and services to dairy, swine, cattle, poultry and other animal producers worldwide. For more information, visit the JBS United website at www.JBSunited.com.