Christmas came a bit early this year to the Great Plains Food Bank in Fargo when 38,000 pounds of pork spareribs were delivered by North Dakota Farmers Union in partnership with Farmers Union Enterprises (FUE). The recent donation kicks off a five-state giving spree of 180,000 pounds of pork that includes food banks in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Montana for the third year running.

“High quality meat is always among the most requested item by our network of food pantries across the state and to be able to provide to them a donation of 38,000 pounds of pork ribs is amazing, especially this time of year,” Great Plains Food Bank CEO Melissa Sobolik said. “This type of donation is fairly unique to us, and we are thrilled to be able to offer variety to our clients. North Dakota Farmers Union has been a longtime partner in our work, and we thank them for continuing to help us feed those in need.”

“Feeding people and building stronger communities is who we are at Farmers Union,” said North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne. “It’s a blessing we’ve been able to make this donation three years in a row.”

FUE is comprised of several businesses – the dividends of which help fund Farmers Union organizations in a five-state area. The donated pork came from Redwood Farms in Estherville, Iowa, which supplies premium pork products to high-end restaurants in New York, Chicago and other cities across the U.S.

In North Dakota, the GPFB is the largest hunger-relief organization and the state’s only food bank. It works with a wide array of individuals and organizations to guide donated surplus food and grocery products to a network of food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and charitable feeding programs.