Meat Hunger, a Livestock Buyers Group formed by 4-H students to donate to those struggling with hunger, to merge with Cultivate Food Rescue

South Bend, IN. (February, 2021) – Meat Hunger is a program formed by two 4-H students in 2017, Emily and Noah Zimmer, with the mission to address food insecurity one protein-based serving at a time. Primarily serving as a 4-H Livestock Buyers Group for the past 3 years, Meat Hunger raises funds to purchase and donate livestock from the 4-H youth to organizations like Cultivate who then use this protein in their meals which go to feed food-insecure children and families in our community.

As the pandemic hit in 2020, Meat Hunger leadership was worried about fundraising, possible meat shortages, and fair cancellations, which would potentially impact their organization and its ability to provide healthy food to the increasing population of food-insecure people significantly.

Fortunately, generous donors and grant providers stepped up to provide $25,625 in funds for the student-led group to purchase 53 animals. Partners like Martin’s Custom Butchering in Wakarusa handled the processing of the animals, funded by Hoosiers Feeding The Hungry, and also donated beef to the cause.  

The grand total of meat donated by Meat Hunger in the past three years exceeds 36,000 pounds. They have raised a total of $45,076, which has allowed them to buy 100 farm animals in kind. Additionally, they have also received 154 livestock animals as donations for their cause. 

As the founders, Emily and Noah, approach their final year of college, they have begun to transition out of the 4-H program and face the upcoming demands of college and post-college life. Throughout this transition, they have been searching for a group of individuals who have the ability to sustain Meat Hunger’s efforts into the future.

Cultivate Food Rescue has been the primary recipient of Meat Hunger’s donations, and now they have begun to work with the Zimmer’s to merge Meat Hunger into their current operations. Bill Zimmer, the father of Emily and Noah, has joined the Cultivate Board and will work with staff and volunteers to transition the Meat Hunger program and partner with local youth development and leadership programs to carry the program forward. 

Cultivate and Meat Hunger will continue to reach out to current donors for funding and partner with Martin’s Custom Butchering and Hoosiers Feeding The Hungry to cover the processing of the livestock and the corresponding fees. 

For more information or to donate to Meat Hunger, please contact Bill Zimmer at billz1961@gmail.com or Cultivate’s Director of Fund Development Todd Zeltwanger at toddz@cultivateculinary.com.