In conjunction with Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27, U.S. pig farmers, the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council and state pork associations kicked off the third annual “Hams Across America” campaign. The program’s goal is to highlight the diverse product donations the pork industry makes throughout the year.
“As pig farmers, our ‘We Care’ ethical principles are the core of who we are as farmers, and it is important for us not only to talk about them but to live them out every day,” said Steve Rommereim, president of the National Pork Board and pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “Hams Across America allows me and other farmers to live the We Care ethical principles and share our love of the product that we produce.”
“All of us in our connected food system understand the importance of supporting our communities, whether that’s someone next door or a world apart,” said National Pork Producers Council President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “With Hams Across America, we’re honored to share our products so others might enjoy delicious, wholesome meals this holiday season.”
The participating organizations held a kickoff event in Des Moines, where they served breakfast to clients of the Central Iowa Shelter and Services.
Other events that will be held in partnership with many state pork associations across the country include:
- Illinois Pork will make a donation of pork products to the Greater Chicago Food Depository;
- Oklahoma Pork will pack and distribute backpacks for students in need as part of its “Pork for Packs” program;
- North Carolina Pork will make a donation of pork products to the Central and Eastern North Carolina Food Bank;
- Pennsylvania Pork will partner with the Harrisburg Police Department to distribute holiday food boxes to individuals in the city;
- Nebraska Pork will donate hams to homeless shelters in the Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, areas.
Also, on RealPigFarming.com, the campaign will highlight Minnesota Pork Producers Association’s “Oink Outings” food bank donations, Ohio Pork Council’s social challenge to producers to pay it forward during the campaign, as well as many other stories from across the industry.
Pig farmers and those involved in the pork industry are encouraged to extend Giving Tuesday through Dec. 23 with Hams Across America, say organizers. Individuals can participate by purchasing a gift of ham and paying it forward to loved ones and those in need. Participants are encouraged to share their pay-it-forward stories on social media using #RealPigFarming and #HamsAcrossAmerica.
Each year the Hams Across America campaign kicks off on Giving Tuesday—the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This nationally recognized day promotes charitable giving and pay-it-forward programs.