We Care principles established by the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council in 2008 make clear the industry’s values in food safety, animal well-being, worker safety, community outreach and protection of both the environment and public health.
This is more than a nice-looking lapel pin, as pig farmers day-in and day-out practice the art of top-notched animal care and worker safety.
This Tuesday morning the NPB executive board enacted the community outreach component as they gathered for the annual Pork Industry Forum in Kansas City, Mo.
That morning, board members took time to give back to and provide for those less fortunate by serving breakfast to about 250 people at the Hope Faith Ministries in downtown Kansas City, a place where the homeless and low-income can be assured of getting a good meal. Serving breakfast is part of the Pork Checkoff’s #HamsAcrossAmerica program. Smithfield Foods donated bacon and pork sausage for the breakfast.
“It’s a real eye-opener,” says Heather Hill, NPB member from Greenfield, Ind., “seeing that there is such a need. … for some of these people this may be the only meal that they get for the day.”
Though the group was representing the NPB and the U.S. pork industry as a whole, their mission was not to sell the pork message. “We were just there to give these people a good meal,” she says.
Giving back is nothing new for Hill, as she and her husband have volunteered in the past with various outreach programs through the American Farm Bureau, helping in shelters and food pantries in Indianapolis, as well as her home area. Hill served as Indiana Pork Producers Association president for two years.
From volunteering at community events to providing pork to a local fundraiser, pig farmers define themselves as being good neighbors. #HamsAcrossAmerica is a program to share the stories of how pig farmers have paid it forward with product donations throughout the year.
“This reminds us how lucky we are and all that we take for granted,” Hill says.