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Beef organizations ramp up fundraising for hungry families


Understanding the importance of high-quality protein as part of a healthy diet, Beef Councils and other agricultural organizations around the country are collaborating with neighbors and producers to help beef up school programs and food pantries. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 33.8 million people lived in food-insecure households in 2021. In these households, five million children lived in food insecurity in which children, along with adults, were food insecure.
Beef provides more than 10 essential nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins, and can be an important part of a healthful and nourishing diet. And, that’s where these organizations come in, to help secure nutrient-rich protein for families and youth in need. 

Beef Up Arizona

In collaboration with Arizona apparel company State Forty-Eight, the Arizona Beef Council’s second annual Beef Up Arizona campaign will be selling t-shirts and stickers with all proceeds going to St. Mary’s Food Bank to be earmarked for the purchase of beef.

Last December, the council raised $2,000, which translated into 14,000 beef meals. In partnering with St. Mary’s Food Bank, each shirt purchased will provide 113 beef meals to Arizona residents in need. That will go far to help the 2 million Arizonans who are faced with food insecurity every year, including 1 in 4 children who grow up in poverty with food insecurity (according to Feeding America).

Preorders close November 13. Shirts and stickers will be shipped in early December in time for Christmas gifting. 
Image courtesy of the Arizona Beef Council

Beef Counts (Idaho and Washington)

When the beef communities in Idaho and Washington learned of the severe shortage of high-quality protein donations at the local food banks, they took action by creating the Beef Counts Program. 

Since 2010, through community donations, Beef Counts has provided over 2 million servings of zinc, iron and protein-rich beef to those in our communities that need it most. 

“The Beef Counts program is a great way to give back to the community. As a rancher, I believe strongly in the quality and commitment that goes into producing beef and beef products in this state. As a good neighbor, I and other ranchers want to make sure that all Idahoans have access to the nutrient-dense protein of our beef,” says Trish Dowton, Pahsimeroi Valley rancher and Idaho Beef Council board member.  

Agri Beef matches all Beef Counts donations up to $50,000 every year. This makes all contributions go further, resulting in a bigger impact.

Beef Sticks for Backpacks (Colorado)

Beef Sticks for Backpacks is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to produce and distribute high quality beef sticks to Colorado backpack programs that help feed kids facing food insecurity on the weekends.

Formed by members of the Colorado agriculture community, BSFB’s mission is to produce and distribute beef sticks into backpack programs that help feed kids facing food insecurity on the weekends.

With the help of KidsPak of Loveland, the Colorado Beef Council, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, Arcadia Asset Management, Colorado Cattlemen’s, Colorado Livestock Association, Colorado State University, and many others they have been able to provide to every food insecure child in Larimer County with one beef stick every weekend. Donations to the program can be made here.

Cactus Cares, Oklahoma Collegiate Cattlewomen

Oklahoma Collegiate Cattlewomen has partnered with Cactus Cares in a T-shirt fundraiser. Proceeds raised are matched by Cactus Cares and used to donate beef to local food pantries. Sales will run now through October 22. 

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