50,000 Pounds of Pork Donated to 9 Regional Foodbanks

Illinois Pork Producers Association

Nov 16, 2023  |  Today's News |  ICMB |  Livestock

As part of “Pork Power: Partnering to Fight Hunger in Illinois” campaign, the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) has donated 50,000 pounds of ground pork to 9 regional food banks in 2023.

group at food bank
This afternoon, IPPA President, Chad Leman, was joined by the IL Corn board member, Shane Gray, staff members from the Illinois Pork Producers Association and the Illinois Soybean Association, Dianne Handsaker of the Illinois Association of Meat Processors, and Brad Turasky from Turasky Meats, at Central Illinois Foodbank in Springfield, IL to make one of the final end-of-year donations. The donated pork was processed by Turasky Meats.

"As farmers across the state of Illinois, we have deep ties to our local communities," says IPPA president and Illinois pig farmer, Chad Leman. "Ingrained in each of us is a desire to help our neighbors, who may be in need. One of the best ways we can do that is to provide food from our farms, specifically pork products, to our local food banks. Pork Power is a program administered through the IL Pork Producers Association that helps pork producers donate thousands of pounds of pork that is processed at local lockers and then donated to those in need. This past year, IL pig farmers have donated over 50,000 pounds of pork to 9 regional food banks who then distribute the meat to local food pantries. Thank you to my fellow producers for your generosity and always responding to the needs of others."

“I am so proud that my Illinois corn checkoff dollars work in partnership with Illinois Pork dollars and Illinois Soybean dollars to make a big impact for hungry families in Illinois,” said Shane Gray, IL Corn Board Director and farmer from Waverly. “Farmers are passionate about feeding people, and I know that this protein donation is vital to the foodbanks in Illinois. IL Corn is proud to support this important mission and to encourage people in Illinois to eat more pork.”

"ISA's collaboration with IL Pork and IL Corn in the Pork Power program consistently proves to be valuable for the organizations involved, Illinois farmers, and the community each year," says Brian Atteberry, ISA District 16 Director and Market Development Committee Chair. "This program highlights the power of collective efforts and the importance of supporting local food banks and those in need."

Towards the end of each calendar year, IPPA turns the remaining funds into ground pork and divides it among the regional food banks in the state. As part of the end-of-the-year giving campaign, over 4,800 pounds of pork was donated today to Central Illinois Foodbank. The Central Illinois Foodbank serves over 140 partner agencies across 21 counties in central and southern Illinois.

“Protein is expensive and many of our neighbors are unable to afford to put it on their tables,” says Brooke Dunn, Public Relations Manager at the Central Illinois Foodbank. “We are so incredibly grateful for this donation from the Pork Power program and the many years of partnership with the Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association, and Illinois Soybean Association.”  

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

  • IL Corn
  • Illinois Soybean Association
  • The Illinois Meat Processors Association

IPPA encourages pig farmers to participate in the program by covering processing fees of their donated pigs. Farmers can go to ilpork.com to learn more about the donation process. This program would not be possible without the help of our commodity partners, local packers and processors across the state, and those who purchased a themed t-shirt that profited the program.           


The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) represents more than 1,700 pork producers throughout Illinois and the Illinois pork industry, which contributes more than $1.8 billion and more than 10,500 jobs to the state’s economy. IPPA is comprised of county pork producer groups in approximately 20 counties throughout Illinois. IPPA is an affiliate of the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board.