SLO Food Bank receives 10,260 pounds of fair meat thanks to our community

After going completely virtual with last year’s livestock auction, the California Mid-State Fair was excited to hold the Junior Livestock Auction in person this July.  This event affords children of all ages the hands-on experience of raising livestock for sale, and, for many participants, the sale of their livestock provides hunger relief to thousands of struggling SLO County residents. This year, thanks to the generosity of our community and the continued support of compassionate partners, 10,260 pounds of beef were donated to the SLO Food Bank. This vital commodity will be distributed countywide through the SLO Food Bank’s direct distribution sites and its agency partners over the coming weeks.

2021 marks the second year that the James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund’s (JWBYLF) Buyers’ Coalition stepped forward to lead this noble effort. Powered by the charitable contributions of community members, the Buyers’ Coalition purchased 18 head of steer to support local hunger relief efforts.  SLO Food Bank Board of Directors Vice-Chair, Joe Simonin, participated in the Junior Livestock Auction as a bidder on behalf of the Food Bank.  Simonin worked closely with JoAnn Wall, Buyer’s Coalition Committee Chair, who led the effort to track the day’s busy purchasing activity.  Together, they worked to support the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H students’ efforts while simultaneously providing a valuable resource for hunger relief in SLO County.

“The young people who chose to exhibit a livestock project at this year’s CMSF knew going in that there was great risk to their endeavors, and they chose to do it anyway. I think it took great courage and perseverance to see these projects through and the JWBYLF Buyers’ Coalition was proud to be there in person to contribute to their success on the auction block.  The fact that we are able to able donate much needed protein to the food insecure in our community makes these efforts so much sweeter”, shared JoAnn.

After livestock is purchased, it needs to be transported for processing, packaging, and distribution. These associated expenses can be costly, and thankfully, Templeton & Visalia Livestock Markets and Central Valley Meat / Harris Ranch continued their generous support of this program by handling all the transportation, processing, and packaging fees for the donated beef at no cost to the SLO Food Bank. This cost savings allows the SLO Food Bank direct its finite funds to provide thousand more meals throughout SLO County.

“The Mid-State fair protein donated to the SLO Food Bank is truly a community success story,” shared vice-chair Simonin. “The collaborative effort between the SLO Food Bank, the Jim Brabeck Buyers’ Coalition, and Central Valley Meat/Harris Ranch are a testament to the community coming together to address a vital need.” Simonin concluded, “This effort is a real accomplishment thoughtfully executed by many great people!”