Tennessee Pork Producers help flood victims

by Bryan Salvage
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DES MOINES, IOWA – Recent severe storms dumped more than 13 inches of rain in Nashville, Tenn., within two days. As a result, the Cumberland River has flooded leaving a wide path of destruction in its wake. Local pork producers have been helping to feed those affected by the flooding.

“The Tennessee Pork Producers reached out to us and said, ‘You know that trailer that we take to the Titans game to feed thousands of people during pork promotions? How about bringing it down and feeding thousands of people to provide some disaster relief help?” said Nicole Boettger, producer services director for the Pork Checkoff.

Within 24 hours, National Pork Board staff traveled from Des Moines to Nashville, picked up pork and coordinated with approximately 20 Tennessee pork producers to help serve the food to relief workers, public safety workers and those displaced by the disaster.

“People have told us, ‘Whatever we need to do, we’ll make it happen,’” Ms. Boettger said. She added that the Pork Board is cooperating with the Red Cross on this project. “That’s the cool thing about working with America’s Pork Producers. It’s more than just giving people a hot meal. It’s part of knowing that we’re part of the fabric that makes America a great country to live in.”

Ms. Boettger said providing a safe, wholesome pork meal is an important way producers can contribute as local residents try to clean up and Nashville strives to get back on its feet.

“We always talk about how producers care for their animals, but this truly demonstrates that we care for people and our communities even more,” she continued. “This is a huge opportunity for producers to give back to others in need, and it demonstrates how we live out the ethical principles of the pork industry’s ‘We Care’ initiative every day.”

“We were able to grill 4,000 pork chops on May 6 that were donated by Tyson Foods, which totaled about 1,100 lbs.,” Mike King, science communications manager, National Pork Board, told MEATPOULTRY.com. “We also had a donation of about 600 lbs. of bratwursts and sausages from Bob Evans.”

According to statistics based on the Red Cross’ Nashville website, www.nashvilleredcross.org, Tennessee pork producers fed more than a day’s worth of meals for the relief effort in the greater Nashville area, Mr. King concluded.

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