Iowa hog farmers help feed New Jersey hurricane victims

Iowa hog farmers help feed New Jersey hurricane victims

Posted Nov. 13, 2012

Several pork producers from Iowa and other states accompanied the Pork Checkoff’s event trailer to New Jersey last week to help feed people impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record to hit the northeast.

The event trailer, a mobile kitchen equipped with grills and cooking supplies, was set up and producer volunteers served pork products every day through Sunday to those in need.

Producers spent the first two days serving pork loins and brat patties at the Ocean Co. YMCA in Tom’s River, N.J. The remainder of the week was spent at the Brick Township Police Athletic League in Brick, N.J., in collaboration with Operation BBQ Relief. In all, 9,000 servings – 200 boneless loins, 306 boneless half loins, 64 cases of brat patties and two cases of Italian sausage grillers – were distributed over the course of the week to New Jersey residents. Extra product was donated to Operation BBQ Relief to continue distribution in Brick, N.J.

“This is just another way pork producers demonstrate that they care for people and their communities,” said Algona’s Conley Nelson, president of the National Pork Board.

Industry partners Smithfield Foods, Johnsonville and Hatfield Brands offered support through product donations. Smithfield donated 2,000 pounds of pork loin; Johnsonville contributed 8,000 pork patties; and Hatfield supplied 51 cases of boneless half loins and seven cases of sausage grillers, equating to 2,365 total pounds.

“The Pork Checkoff and America’s pork producers are grateful for these contributions, which made the relief effort a success,” said Nelson. “This was a great opportunity for producers to give back to those on the East Coast who were hit hard by the hurricane.”

In addition to the volunteers, the Iowa Pork Producers Association was one of eight state pork associations that also provided monetary support to the effort. The other state pork associations involved in the project included California, Indiana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Utah

The Iowa pork producers who traveled to New Jersey were all from Ida Grove and included Ran Whitney,

Steve Struck, Brian Palmer, Roger Sarchet, Toby Mosher, Mason Goodenow, Darron Uhl, Marlin Vanvoorst, Richard McBride and Keaton Vanvoorst.

Of the 24 states impacted by the storm, Sandy hit New York and New Jersey especially hard, flooding numerous streets, tunnels and subway lines, as well as cutting off electricity to parts of the city and its suburbs.

There are a number of national and local relief agencies working to help hurricane victims. For farmers who wish to contribute, here are links to three reputable relief organization web sites: