To help ease some of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Christensen Farms and its contract producer partners have been supporting family, friends and the communities in which the company operates through monetary donations to local food shelves as well as donations of pork.
“Following unprecedented disruptions this spring due to COVID-19, the pork industry is seeing pork processing plants return towards intended levels of processing capacity while focusing on maintaining the safest possible environment for their employees,” Christensen Farms president and chief executive officer Glenn Stolt said. “This is encouraging for the industry; however, the backlog of market-ready hogs remains as the industry continues to navigate the impacts of plant closures or significant reductions in processing capacity.”
Despite current headwinds for the pork industry, the company said its mission to produce safe, high-quality, nutritious protein for the food supply chain has become even more critical as Americans continue face rising unemployment, limited access to protein and increased food costs.
“Due to supply chain disruptions, specifically at U.S. pork packing plants affected by COVID-19, we have been working hard to seek out alternative avenues to get as many of our market-ready pigs into the food supply,” Stolt said. “Supporting us tremendously in this noble feat was our contract producer partners in helping get over 3,000 hogs back into the food supply chain that otherwise would have been sacrificed. For this, I cannot thank these individuals enough for their commitment to our company’s mission, values and continuous support during these trying times for the industry.”
The company did not request payment for these hogs but instead asked its contract partners to “pay it forward” in their local communities by supporting food shelves, organizations and families in need. To date, more than $50,000 have been donated across multiple rural communities in the Midwest.
In addition to the market-ready hogs provided to contract partners, Christensen Farms donated hogs processed at a local meat locker in southwest Minnesota to more than 60 employees. Additionally, the company coordinated and funded a mutually beneficial “take and bake” program involving 15 restaurants hit hard by COVID-19 to provide meals to more than 600 of its committed team members across five midwestern states.
Christensen Farms said it continues to do everything it can to keep its team members safe and healthy while still producing pork for consumers during these uncertain times.