First Farmers Bank and Trust launches Pigs to People to Pork initiative
First Farmers Bank and Trust has partnered with producers, processors, and Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry to launch a direct assistance program to provide protein to food banks in Indiana and eastern Illinois.
Jeff Rodibaugh, senior vice president chief agricultural lending officer, says the Pigs to People to Pork initiative was launched following the shutdown of major processing plants leaving producers with few options for their market-ready hogs.
“We care greatly about pig farmers and what they’re going through-there’s nothing more unsettling than to work for 10 months to produce a product that ultimately people desperately want and need but there’s no avenue to get that to them with the processing challenges,” he says. “To lighten that burden a little bit and to convert that pig into pork for people that need it is really the central focus.”
A network of farmers and local processors is working with First Farmers Bank and Trust to donate or reduce livestock and processing costs.
Rodibaugh says local processors have helped make the program possible.
“We found a few small processors that were willing to work extra time in order to make this a reality—they’re more than booked,” he says.
Tade Powell, senior vice president director of communications, says the bank wanted to be part of the solution as the industry continues to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is really no time to be talking about bank products and services, the time now is to make sure that we’re filling the void in our communities of assistance,” he says.
Pigs to People to Pork is one of three outreach programs taking place at First Farmers Bank and Trust. Click here for more information.