Pork Producers Give Away 5 Tons Meat In Yankton


By Cora Van Olson, Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan

Jun 30, 2020


With a free pork distribution at Yankton High School (YHS) Tuesday, the South Dakota Pork Producers Council (SD PPC) was able to help farmers and consumers negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The SD PPC took 60 pigs donated by farmers and had them processed into ground pork and chops at the South Dakota State University (SDSU) meat lab, which yielded nearly 5 tons of ground pork and chops. Each vehicle at Tuesday’s distribution received one 15-pound box of meat out of the 600 boxes that the group brought to the site.


Attendees were asked to begin lining up for the drive-through giveaway in the YHS parking lot an hour before the event. Within 30 minutes, the lot was filled to capacity and police, who were managing traffic at the entrance, began turning people away.


Along with the meat, the boxes contained instructions and recipes, as well as a list of local donors who helped fund the event.


The idea for the distribution came out of some of the hardships that pork producers have been facing during the current global pandemic.


“As COVID hit and people were starting to lose jobs and be furloughed, our producers also ran into issues with plants being shut down and having nowhere for their livestock to be harvested,” Stacey Sorlien, director of programs and communication for SD PPC, told the Press & Dakotan. “For all these communities going through COVID, everything’s changing; kids are at home more and cooking has become a huge burden on some of these families.”


Recently, as meat-processing plants shut down around the country due to localized COVID-19 outbreaks, hog farmers reportedly slaughtered and disposed of many of their animals. Meanwhile, due to the limited meat supply, the price of meat at the supermarkets rose, putting pressure on family budgets that were already stretched...