Hospitalized U.S. veterans treated to barbecue

by MEAT&POULTRY Staff
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WASHINGTON -- America’s Pork Producers will serve a special end-of-summer barbecue for the wounded veterans hospitalized at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 16. The Pork Checkoff has worked with the U.S. Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) for almost five years, with the goal being serving America’s military personnel.

"We’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time, and now we’re making it happen," said Mike Walser, the Pork Checkoff’s retail marketing manager for the southeastern division. "We’ve arranged to serve free pork-chop sandwiches for 1,500 to 2,000 veterans, their families and the hospital staff."

Twenty producers will prepare pork from Tyson Foods in the kitchen of the Pork Checkoff’s "We Care" trailer, which will pull up at the Mologne House at the Walter Reed Medical Center. Other major corporations have volunteered to provide food and supplies so the pork producers can offer a complete lunch for the veterans and their families. An Elvis impersonator and The Elder Young Band, led by DeCA’s director of meat operations, will entertain the crowd during the meal.

Chef Mark Salter from Maryland’s Inn at Perry Cabin has been invited to the WUSA Channel 9 television station on the morning of Sept. 16 to tape a pork cooking demonstration to publicize this event. Mr. Salter will prepare a tenderloin recipe that will be available on TheOtherWhiteMeat.com.

The Pork Checkoff’s successful partnership with DeCA provides competitively priced groceries and household supplies to 276 military commissaries around the world. DeCA has enlisted the Pork Checkoff’s help in 2009 to feature a number of pork specials throughout the year, complete with coupons and ads in DeCA sales circulars.

Persons must be active or retired military to shop at these outlets, which are similar to club stores, said Mr. Walser. He added these commissaries sell a tremendous amount of pork—in fact, more than most grocery stores.

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