Since its inception in 2017, the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) has been participating in the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) “Give-a-Ham” challenge, which is an annual social media campaign that encourages people across the country to donate pork to organizations serving the food insecure.
To kick off the campaign this year, Alan Kollmann, IPPA board president, presented 500 hams to the Central Illinois Foodbank on behalf of Illinois pig farmers and the Pork Checkoff.
“Giving a ham is a symbol of generosity and compassion, which is especially valuable during the holiday season,” shares Kollmann. “As pig farmers, we always have the end user in mind when raising our animals and creating quality pork products. We enjoy sharing those products whenever we can to get extra protein to those in need.”
“We are very thankful for the continued support of the Illinois Pork Producers Association in helping us provide for our neighbors in central and southern Illinois,” said Pam Molitoris, Executive Director of Central Illinois Foodbank. “Hunger is with us 365 days a year, and generous donations such as this help us ensure that no one will go without nutritious food this holiday season.”
Illinois Director of Agriculture, Jerry Costello II, was present at the donation event to support the pork industry’s commitment in giving back to their communities. He also encouraged his fellow colleagues to participate in Give-A-Ham this year. Costello extended the challenge to Missouri Director of Agriculture, Chris Chinn. She is invited to purchase a ham product of her choice and donate it to an organization of her choice.
Anyone can take part in the challenge by gifting a ham this holiday season. Some examples of who to gift your ham to are local food pantries, emergency personnel, organizations that are special to you and families in need.
To help IPPA spread awareness of the campaign, post about your donation to social media and tag Illinois Pork Producers with the tag #GiveAHam.
This Give-A-Ham event is part of a larger donation from the Pork Power program, which aims to contribute 100,000 pounds of pork annually, to families in need. It kicks off the series of pork donations to the regional food banks in Illinois from now through Christmas on behalf of Illinois pig farmers and the Pork Checkoff.