The Pork Checkoff's event trailer traveled to the East Coast to assist in feeding victims of Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record to hit the northeast coast.
Although 24 states have been impacted by the storm, the hurricane 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.
In response, pork producers from several states rolled up their sleeves to help feed those impacted by the storm.
"The event trailer, a mobile kitchen equipped with grills and cooking supplies, traveled to New Jersey to offer assistance serving pork products to those in need," said Conley Nelson president of the National Pork Board. "This is just another way pork producers demonstrate that they care for people and their communities."
Contributing to a better quality of life in producers' communities is one of the six ethical principles of the We Care initiative, a joint effort of the Pork Checkoff, through the National Pork Board, and the National Pork Producers Council.
Producers spent the first two days serving pork loins and brat patties at the Ocean Co. YMCA in Tom's River, NJ. The remainder of the week was spent at the Brick Township Police Athletic League in Brick, NJ, in collaboration with Operation BBQ Relief.
In all, over 9,100 servings - 158 boneless loins, 306 boneless half loins and 408 packages of brat patties - 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, NJ.
Nine states donated assistance through monetary support - California, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Utah. Six states provided support by sending volunteers, including Iowa, Indiana, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Dakota.
Industry partners Smithfield Foods, Johnsonville and Hatfield Brands offered support through product donations. Smithfield donated 1,600 pounds of pork loin; Johnsonville contributed 5,760 pork patties; and Hatfield supplied 51 cases of boneless half loins and seven cases of sausage grillers, equating to 1,000 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."
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 websites: http://feedingamerica.org/;