Butler Co. Pork Producers donate to ‘Homes for Haiti’ project, issue challenge

Butler Co. Pork Producers donate to ‘Homes for Haiti’ project, issue challenge

Posted March 5, 2012

Hog farmers from Butler County are challenging the pork industry to come to the aid of the people of Haiti.

A massive 2010 earthquake left 1.6 million Haitians homeless and the “Special Delivery. Homes. Help. Hope. For Haiti” campaign is trying to raise the funds to provide Iowa-built homes for many of the 600,000 people still living under tarps and in tent cities. Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey are campaign co-chairs.

Coordinated by the Iowa Soybean Association’s Iowa Food & Family Project and the Iowa-based Global Compassion Network, the campaign seeks to raise funds to deliver 48 SafeTHomes to the Village of Hope in Les Cayes, Haiti, by June 1. Manufactured by Sukup Manufacturing of Sheffield, the grain bin-like structures cost $5,700 each.

The Butler County Pork Producers are donating $1,000 to the “Special Delivery” campaign and have issued a challenge to Iowa pork producers and others across the U.S. to contribute to the effort.

“This is a good program and a way to help needy people,” said Butler County Pork Producers President Kent Debner, a producer from Greene. We’re a compassionate people and when we see a need, we like to pitch in and help. We’d like to see some or all of the other counties match our donation.”

Each SafeTHome can provide shelter for up to 10 people. The circular units are 18-feet in diameter, 100 percent termite, fire and waterproof, can withstand 130 mph winds and be assembled on-site with simple hand tools. SafeTHomes are built with a double heat shield roof to deflect heat and with screened-in lockable windows and door.

The Village of Hope was established last year to offer transitional housing to families displaced by the earthquake. The five-acre village can accommodate up to 50 SafeTHomes and 10 homes have already been built. Donations also are being accepted to cover costs of transporting the homes and concrete to secure each unit.

“Special Delivery” was launched in December and about 30 SafeTHomes have been pledged to date. Donations can be made to the Global Compassion Network online at iowafoodandfamily.comor by sending checks payable to “Global Compassion Network” to: GCN, Attn: Special Delivery, 1066 440th St., Linn Grove, IA 50133.

The U.S. pork industry, including the Iowa Pork Producers Association, has a long history of coming to the aid of victims of local and international natural disasters, most recently donating several hundred thousand dollars to last year’s earthquake and tsunami relief effort in Japan.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association is a participating sponsor in the Iowa Food & Family Project and supports the “Special Delivery” campaign.