It’s time to celebrate community.
On Wednesday, April 28, the Sioux City community was the focus of a “Thank You” celebration from Iowa’s pig farmers for the support shown to those who work in bringing food from farm to table. Aaron Juergens, a pig farmer from Carroll, thanked the Sioux City community for supporting pig farmers and all people who work as part of the food chain.
“This community provided support and encouragement at a time that was incredibly stressful to every link in the food supply chain. That includes farmers, plant workers, and those working in grocery stores and restaurants. Keeping people safe while providing healthy and nutritious foods is a critical matter,” Juergens said.
At the kick-off event, Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott also pointed to the food chain as the base of Sioux City’s economic strength.
Marty Dougherty, the economic and community development director of Sioux City, as well as the former mayor, noted during the event that not everyone understands what it takes to get food from the farm to the table, but the Sioux City community is where much of that happens. He pointed to the Seaboard Triumph Foods facility that opened in 2017. “That was growth in jobs, not only there but for other businesses that provide transportation, packing supplies, and other services and products,” he said.
“Our food supply chain is thin and fragile; it doesn’t take much to disrupt it,” said Tim Walls, the CEO of Seaboard Triumph Foods. “We have 2,000 people who work at the plant and they showed up for hard, meaningful work. We are glad to be here in Sioux City, and glad to do our work to feed the world.”
One way that Seaboard does that is by supporting the Food Bank of Siouxland. Jacob Wanderscheid, the executive director of the Food Bank of Siouxland said the whole pork community of Iowa helped feed households this past year through many programs, including Pass the Pork, which provided nearly 10,000 meals in just the Siouxland area. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Wanderscheid said. “We can continue our fight against hunger through the support of Iowa’s pig farmers.”
As part of their “Thank You” celebration, the Iowa pork producers donated $1000 in pork value to the food bank and four area food pantries. The pork producers also provided pork coupons to local grocery stores for distribution to consumers, and pork thank-you baskets to local first responders.
The day wrapped up with a pork giveaway at the Sioux City Explorers’ parking lot. More than 5,500 pounds of pork were distributed to area residents. “Each pound of pork is four servings of protein, so that’s nearly 22,000 meals for area residents,” Juergens said.