Pork producers from across the country served hundreds of U.S. military families by distributing pork meals on Dec. 2 during the 2012 Snowball Express, a charity for the children of America's fallen military heroes.

“We appreciate the sacrifice these parents and children have made, and we want to give something back,” says Derrick Sleezer, a pork producer from Cherokee, IA, and member of the National Pork Board.

More than 1,200 children and 700 adults from military families across the country traveled to Texas in early December for the Snowball Express, which was held in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Forty-three pork producers from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Oregon, Oklahoma and Texas were on hand to greet the families. They also distributed Pork Checkoff gift bags filled with coloring books, pork recipes and more.

Following a parade at the Ft. Worth Stockyards, the pork industry volunteers served more than 1,000 pork burgers, 1,000 hot dogs and 750 pork chops during the Snowball Express, which helps connect military families to one another and creates opportunities for friendship and communal healing during the holidays.

The opportunity also reflects the pork industry's We Care initiative, which demonstrates pork producers' commitment to established ethical principles that promote a better quality of life in local communities.

“I'd volunteer for the Snowball Express again in a heartbeat,” Sleezer says. “As pork producers, we want to help build stronger communities, and we appreciate the opportunity to be part of worthwhile events like this that are much bigger than the pork industry.”

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.