Farmers Union donates pork to regional food banks

The 35,000-pound shipment of pork was received by Wisconsin Farmers Union Rural Organizer Hayden Cohan, right, and Second Harvest Foodbank Director of Marketing & Communications Kristopher Tazelaar.

A large donation of nutritious protein found its way from family farms to Madison today when 35,000 pounds of pork was delivered to Second Harvest Foodbank. The donation by Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU), in partnership with Farmers Union Enterprises, is part of a five-state giving spree of 180,000 pounds of pork that also includes food banks in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

"We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation from the Wisconsin Farmers Union," said Michelle Orge, President & CEO of Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. "Our vision is that everyone in our community has enough nutritious food to thrive, and this donation fits that vision perfectly. It is a nutritious and versatile product that fits into many different types of diets and cultural preferences."

“This can be a difficult time of year financially for many families, and we’re glad to be able to provide some nourishment for families facing food insecurity through this donation,” said WFU President Darin Von Ruden, a dairy farmer from Westby, WI. “Our farmer members are hard at work each day producing food that we want to be sure is reaching those who need it most.”

FUE comprises several businesses – the dividends of which help fund Farmers Union organizations in a five-state area. The donated pork came from Redwood Farms in Estherville, Iowa, which supplies premium pork products to high-end restaurants in New York, Chicago and other cities across the U.S. Redwood Farms is unique in that it is focused on providing farmers the best market pricing for hogs that may not meet the stricter size specifications of larger processing plants.

Since 1986 Second Harvest has been supporting neighbors struggling with food insecurity in southwestern Wisconsin. With a mission of ending hunger in southwestern Wisconsin, the foodbank provides those facing hunger in the community access to enough nutritious food to thrive.

“Farmers Union is all about working together to meet our common needs,” Von Ruden said. “We’re glad to be able to partner with Second Harvest on this effort.”