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Meat and Poultry Industry Works to ‘Meat the Need' on National Hunger Awareness Day

Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Philadelphia, PA, June 5, 2002 - In honor of Hunger Awareness Day (June 5), the U.S. meat and poultry industry today pledged to increase by ten percent the amount of meat and poultry donated to America’s Second Harvest food banks nationwide. As a symbol of its commitment, meat companies today will deliver meat products to food banks in ten U.S. cities and towns.

Hunger Awareness Day was launched this year by America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s largest charitable feeding organization, to highlight the growing problem of hunger in America. According to a recently released Second Harvest study, in 2001, 23.3 million Americans nationwide sought and received emergency hunger relief from our charitable network. That figure is nearly two million more people than sought similar services in 1997. Forty percent of those seeking assistance from food banks had one adult in the household working. According to Second Harvest, one in five American children live at or below the poverty level and one in four people in a soup kitchen line is a child.

“Today we are making a commitment to provide larger supplies of nutritious meat and poultry to Second Harvest in 2002 and in the years to come,” said American Meat Institute (AMI) Chairman Phil Clemens, chairman of Hatfield, Inc. in Hatfield, PA. Meat and poultry products are the products most desired by hunger-relief agencies - and the most difficult to obtain by Second Harvest affiliates.

According to Clemens, AMI members have donated more than 40 million pounds of meat and poultry to Second Harvest food banks in the last 14 years since launching AMI’s “Meating the Need” food donation partnership with Second Harvest in 1988. Last year, AMI members donated approximately 4 million pounds of meat and poultry to Second Harvest food banks -- twice their early 1990s donation levels of about two million pounds per year. AMI members have pledged to donate at least 4.5 million pounds to food banks in 2002 and five million pounds in 2003. Clemens made his statement at the Philadelphia Food Bank, where his company regularly donates large amounts of meat products.

Other companies throughout the U.S. joined Clemens in his resolve to fight hunger by donating meat and poultry on National Hunger Awareness Day. In Chicago, the Greater Chicago Food Depository will receive donated meat products from Ed Miniat, Inc. and Carl Buddig and Company of Chicago, IL. Future Beef Operations, LLC, donated beef products to the Kansas Foodbank Warehouse in Wichita, Kansas, and Usinger’s Famous Sausage in Milwaukee donated hot dog and sausage products to America's Second Harvest of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI.

In addition, Bob Evans Farms donated sausage products to the Mid-Ohio FoodBank in Columbus, OH, and the Food Bank of South Central Michigan in Battle Creek, MI; and directly to Second Harvest agencies in Springfield, Monroe and Gallipolis, OH; and Galesburg, IL.

“This is a symbolic beginning for our industry’s expanded commitment to fighting hunger,” Clemens said. “Feeding people is our business. Knowing that Americans - and particularly American children - go hungry every day is a tragedy we cannot ignore.”

For more information about hunger, visit America’s Second Harvest at http://www.secondharvest.org. For more information about the meat and poultry industry, visit http://www.meatinstitute.org.
AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI's members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products in the U.S. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the industry. Its affiliate, the AMI Foundation, is a separate 501(c)3 organization that conducts research, education and information projects for the industry.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
Josee Daoust
Manager, Public Affairs

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