Cattle producers support food banks

Saskatchewan’s two main beef organizations are working together to fight hunger.

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association began its Beef Drive for food banks in 2016, and this week the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association donated $10,000 to the cause.

The project has seen nearly 30,000 pounds of beef, plus thousands of dollars, donated to Food Banks of Saskatchewan.

SCA chair Arnold Balicki said in a news release that beef producers take pride in helping their communities and are happy to contribute to the cost of processing the donated beef.

“During this pandemic it is very important for us all to pull together to ensure everyone, including our most vulnerable, are looked after,” he said.

The beef is processed into one-pound packs of frozen ground beef.

SSGA president Bill Huber said it’s all about neighbours helping each other.

“The need has always been there and with the COVID-19 pandemic there has been increased demand from families needing some help from their local food banks,” he said.

“We greatly appreciate this generous donation from the SCA.”

Producers who are interested in donating animals can contact the SSGA office in Regina.

There are 32 food banks in urban and rural Saskatchewan that serve about 40,000 residents each month. The layoffs and changes due to COVID-19 are expected to increase that number substantially.

In April, FBS launched a Crisis Response Fund to raise $6 million for the additional costs that the food banks are predicting.

FBS says most have seen increases in demand ranging from five to 60 percent. The Regina Food Bank is sending out 450 hampers every day, according to the latest FBS newsletter, an increase of 60 percent.

In Melfort, demand is up more than 10 percent but 30 to 40 percent of this demand is from people who have never used the food bank before.

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