The Pickaway County Fair had a different packer bidding on the steers at the Pickaway County Junior Fair Sale this year. The Pickaway County Community Foundation and Pickaway County Farm Bureau joined forces to purchase all of the steers from the 4-H and FFA youth that participated in the Pickaway County Fair.
Pickaway County Community Foundation Executive Director Jan Shannon noted that the partnership accomplished two important goals. First, it recognized the work and effort of the youth that raised the steers by paying a generous $1.15 per pound. Second, beef processed at the Orient Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction meat packing plant will be distributed by Farm Bureau and the Foundation to local food pantries to feed those in need.
“Rarely do you see such a collaboration that benefits not only the youth that worked hard raising the animals but then, in exchange, those in need in our county” Shannon said. “This project allows us to provide protein to our pantries that they may not normally have an opportunity to get. Projects like this are what make this county so strong.”
The funding for this program came from a collaboration of a number of organizations. The Pickaway County Farm Bureau, Ohio Beef Council, Well Being Foundation and the Food Insecurities Program coordinated by the Pickaway County Community Foundation. A large portion of the Food Insecurities funding came from the Pickaway Competitiveness Agriculture Fund who donated $20,000 initially to this program. The remaining funding came through generous donations from the community.
“According to Feeding America, food insecurity in Pickaway County is 12.5%; the number climbs to 18% for children who don’t have enough to eat,” said Ivory Harlow, Pickaway County Farm Bureau Organizational Director, who assisted Shannon with this project. “Conducting this project during summer, a time when children don’t have access to school meals is critical to nourishing families in Pickaway County.”
Donations to the Food Insecurities Program are still being accepted with the goal to continue this program. Those wishing to contribute can send donations with Food Insecurities noted in the memo to the Pickaway County Community Foundation at 770 N. Court Street, Circleville OH 43113.