A major pork producer in the Midwest recently donated a semi truck load of hams to three Central Illinois communities. Maschhoff Family Foods donated hams to families in Pittsfield, Carlyle and Washington County last Friday. Julie Maschhoff, Vice President of Public Policy and wife to Ken Maschhoff, the Chairman of the Board said that the idea came about after visiting their local Wal-Mart. “Ken and I were in Wal-Mart and we were amazed several weeks ago that meat shelves were empty. People were starting to panic because no one in our generation or younger have ever seen empty store shelves. We started thinking about how there is a surplus of pork inventory, so we decided that we’d bring a semi load of hams back here to the Midwest from one of the packing plants that we supply and to share those with the communities of Pittsfield, Illinois and the Carlyle, Illinois area. That is where we have our primary Illinois hog operations.”
Maschhoff says the effort was a company wide undertaking: “We actually distributed close to 2500 hams. We purchased an entire semi load out of the one of the packing plants, but the Maschhoffs bought them and paid for them. Pine Ridge Farms out of Des Moines, Iowa donated the transportation for us. Out of those 2500 hams comes over 155,000 servings of hams for people in the Pike, Clinton, and Washington county areas. All together, it was a pretty massive effort from all of our employees who also volunteered to take the time off of work to help distribute them to not only needy families but we also reached our volunteer fire departments, our first responders, and certain food banks.”
Maschhoff says that she knew that the meat distribution issue may be a temporary problem as producers have to hold back hogs from market because packing plants have had to furlough workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She says that the Maschhoffs saw a need in the community and wanted to help families who need food now.