Wow, have these last several months been a whirlwind. This unprecedented time has definitely made an impact on our local community, as well as on our state and nation.
Times like these remind us all of the importance of ensuring our nation’s food security and the importance of food to our local communities.
Our farmers put in tireless hours all year long to supply healthy, affordable food to be processed and packaged so that stores can restock shelves, produce bins, and meat and dairy cases. The pandemic, however, caused some serious processing disruptions, leading to empty shelves and shortages on meat products. Those processing disruptions led to farmers destroying produce, dumping milk, and even having to consider depopulating their herds, a farmer’s worst nightmare.
On the consumer end, with school closures, job disruptions and health risks, millions of Americans turned to food banks. Locally, our food banks have seen an increase in families and individuals.
The Trumbull County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees started a Farmers Care — Feeding Communities Project. The intent of the project is to support local farmers while supplying food to our local food banks and supporting our community.
The project kicked off when we partnered with Heath Davis of the Bloomfield Livestock Auction to purchase market hogs from a northeast Ohio farmer whose contracts with Tyson had been on hold due to plant shutdowns. The meat from those hogs was processed at Trumbull County owned and operated businesses. An additional market hog was purchased from local 4-H youth.
The meat from those hogs was distributed to more than 500 families in our community through NESFACE in Kinsman, Mecca Community Church, St. Vincent De Paul in Warren, and LaBrae Local School District.
This project would not have been possible without the generous support of our Farm Bureau volunteers, our membership, Daprile Insurance Group-Nationwide, Heath Davis and the Bloomfield Livestock Auction, Jones Processing, Peden’s Meats, Mahan Packing, Kempf’s Custom Butchering, Family Farm and Home of Warren and Rome Feed.
We would like to continue to provide local foods to our local food banks as we try to return to some sort of normal. They can’t do it alone — and you can help. Nobody should ever go hungry.
If any Trumbull County farms, businesses and supporters of Trumbull County agriculture and our communities are interested in making a donation to help us grow the Farmers Care — Feeding Communities Project, please email [email protected] or call 440-426-2195.
Submitted by Mandy Orahood, Ohio Farm Bureau organization director, serving Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull Counties. She can be reached by email.
OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.