On May 1st, The Wisconsin Pork Association (WPA) and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) joined forces to start a new program connecting Wisconsin pork producers to local meat processors, consumers and the growing number of people experiencing food insecurity during COVID-19.
The program, called “Passion for Pork,” WPA and DATCP are connecting Wisconsin pork producers with smaller, local meat processors who are extending their hours of operation to process and package the pork to help meet the growing demand for food bank and food pantry resources. Wisconsin food banks are getting the pork into the hands of those in need.
The program kicked off with the delivery of 60 hogs for harvest to People’s Meat Market, a local meat processor and program member in Stevens Point. The whole hog carcass is then broken down into smaller portions for further processing and packaging at Windsor-based Neesvig’s Meats, another program member. Along with shipping the processed pork to food banks and food pantries, the local meat processors also sell the pork at their retail stores. Additionally, Neesvig’s hopes to offer pick up of various products at several different sites including their processing plant in Windsor in the next few weeks.
The hogs for “Passion for Pork” are being supplied by Wisconsin pig farmers, however, there are significant costs associated with the processing, storage, and delivery of the pork to food banks and pantries. WPA is currently accepting donations from the public to support the continued operation of this program.
Wisconsin pig farmers and meat processors interested in participating in the program should email the Wisconsin Pork Association: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations to the Passion for Pork can be mailed to:
Passion for Pork c/o Peoples State Bank P.O. Box 218 Bloomington, WI 53804
Or electronically at https://donorbox.org/passion-for-pork.
Processing will continue for as long as processing capacity and funds remain. DATCP will continue to work with WPA and other agricultural groups to find ways to get Wisconsin commodities to consumers in need.
Thank A Farmer Yard Signs Available
To show support for pig farmers across the nation ‘Thank A Farmer’ yard signs are available on a first come, first serve basis through the Wisconsin Pork Association.
As hog farmers and supporting industry members work to alleviate the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring a safe food supply, the yard signs will highlight pork farmers’ essential role. The “Thank A Farmer” message will encourage consumers to continue to purchase pork at the grocery stores and local butchers/processors.
Pork producers and supporting businesses are encouraged to display the signs to be recognized for the essential role pork producers playing during the COVID-19 crisis and display the value of the pork product.
To request a sign:
Email email@example.com with your name and address.
Available for pick up at the state office, 131 S. Monroe St. Lancaster, WI 53813 or contact WPA for a pickup location near you.
Donation of $10 is suggested. A limited number of signs are available on a first come, first served basis. All donations will be donated to the Passion for Pork Fund.