March 4, 2020, For immediate release: For the last three years, St. Joseph County 4-H youth members and volunteers have worked together on a program called Meat Hunger to address the growing issue of hunger in our community, which led to identifying Cultivate Food Rescue as a valuable community partner to donate 4-H-raised meat.

In an effort to increase the amount of 4-H raised meat donated to the St. Joseph County area, 4-H swine project members, the St. Joseph County 4-H program, St. Joseph County 4-H Fair Inc., MeatHunger, Hoosiers Feeding The Hungry, and Cultivate Food Rescue are partnering together to address food insecurity in our community. Meat Hunger is fundraising to secure enough money to purchase all of the hogs that would have been purchased for resale. In 2019, that number was 120 hogs. MeatHunger has set a fundraising goal of at least $15,000 in order to purchase these hogs at the 2020 4-H Fair Auction.

Thanks to the generosity of Hoosiers Feeding The Hungry and their partner, Martin’s Custom Butchering in Wakarusa, the expenses associated with the processing of these additional hogs will be totally underwritten. To add another win to this scenario, all of the 4-H pork will be donated to Cultivate Food Rescue, a local not-for-profit based in South Bend. Cultivate will use the 4-H meat, along with other rescued food, in frozen meals to help feed 1,000 local, food-insecure students on weekends in the upcoming school year.

We believe this partnership will benefit 4-H swine members as well as helping hungry, local children, and food-insecurity will be pushed back one protein-based serving at a time. Our community collaboration is paving the way for other 4-H programs and community partners in other counties and states. It is amazing what can be done when people work together and think creatively for the benefit of their whole communities!

To learn more about this exciting partnership, contact any of the following: AndyLaidig/4-H Fair Auction Co-Chair (574-261-2741), Andy Myer/4-H Fair BoardDirector and Auction Co-Chair (574-340-1342), Emily and Noah Zimmer at MeatHunger(, or Todd Zeltwanger/Cultivate Food Rescue (574-952-8148).

To make a donation to Meat Hunger, please contact Andy Myer or Andy Laidig for online or in-person donations.