Simcoe County Beef Farmers donate to food banks

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Simcoe County Beef Farmers have made a donation of close to 250 pounds of ground beef to the Creemore Community Foodbank.

Representatives picked up beef from Stayner Meat Packers on Wednesday and delivered it to St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Creemore, home base for the Creemore food bank, before delivering an equal amount to the Angus Food Bank.

“Ground beef is a fresh, single- ingredient food that is not processed or fortified in any way. It’s packed with protein and is one of nature’s richest sources of iron, Vitamin B12 and zinc,” said David Millsap, local farmer and Beef Farmers of Ontario Director. “We are happy to be able to provide this nutritious, versatile, locally raised staple food to our neighbours in need.”

“Simcoe County Beef Farmers understand the pressures on local food banks to supply the increasing demand for nutritious protein meat products. We wanted to support in the best way we can by directly supplying ground beef to two local food banks,” said Katherine Giffen, president of Simcoe County Beef Farmers. “It was a unanimous decision during our Annual General Meeting from all our members to make a donation of ground beef to local food banks.”

St. Luke’s food bank coordinator Rev. Lorna May said the donation couldn’t come at a better time.

The food bank strives to supply families in need with fresh, nutritious food and is well supported through various partnerships with local businesses and individual donors. May said the food bank is just getting to the end of a supply of ground beef donated by Miller’s Dairy.

She said ground beef is a valuable staple because it is so versatile and can be added to many meals, providing essential protein.

The food bank is seeing an increase in demand. It is now regularly supporting 26 families, up from eight when it launched last spring.

“Creemore is thought to be an affluent community but there is also poverty and families with precarious incomes,” said May, adding that people accessing the food bank – single moms with a lack of support, couples with children, retired seniors and people on ODSP – are often forced to pay a disproportionate amount of their income on housing, making food unaffordable.

“Thank you to the Simcoe County Beef Farmers Association. This donation of ground beef is a much needed support for our food bank,” said May. “At the Creemore Community Foodbank, we are striving to offer healthy food choices weekly. This donation will also support our monthly educational component Soup for the Soul, encouraging each other as we learn food facts.”

She said she is grateful to be receiving the grass-fed local beef, which was raised on the farm of Simcoe County Beef Farmers advisory council member Jim Whitley, who farms near Avening.

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