Checkoff donates beef to S.D. families in need |

Checkoff donates beef to S.D. families in need

In America, one in eight people goes to bed hungry at night. To fight hunger, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary (SDCA), in partnership with the Beef Checkoff Program and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), recently completed the “Feed A Family” project, where they donated beef to local food pantries and daycares.

In addition to the donation of ground beef, which was gifted to the Lake County Food Pantry, Lake Preston Food Pantry, Kingsbury County Food Pantry, Huron Salvation Army, and Madision Food Pantry, SDCA also put together packages complete with recipes, oven mitts, seasoning and pie plates to prepare the recipes.

“Each year, we go to different communites and do something a little different,” explains Laurie Johnson, SDCA president and SDBIC director. “This year, we did pie plates and different beef recipes that you can prepare in a pie plate. Last year, we did crockpot recipes.”

Recipes included: Applesauce Meatloaf, Shepard’s Pie, Taco Pie, Spaghetti Pie, and Cowboy Casserole. SDCA also hosted a couple of cooking classes to teach area families how to prepare the recipes, which featured ingredients that most food pantries have on hand.

“When we hosted the cooking classes, the families were very appreciative that we donated food and time to help them,” says Johnson. “Many of the recipients were very grateful as sometimes food can be hard to come by for them.”

All too often, people donate non-perishable items and canned goods, which can make it hard to fill the void for meat and dairy products. This project was instrumental in helping to stock the freezers at the food pantries.

“The generous financial gift of beef will certainly help us keep our freezer stocked,” says Nicholas Pagnotta, community service worker in Madison, S.D. “The gift of plates, pot holders and recipes have already been used and appreciated by needy families. I can say without the slightest bit of exaggeration that the dishes and recipes have been a huge hit.”

As the holiday season draws near, meat will be available for many area families in need, thanks to the beef checkoff. Not only does the donation of beef help those less fortunate, but the recipes provided during the cooking class were versatile, budget-friendly and easy-to-make for weeknight meals and hopefully will soon become family favorites.

By reaching this demographic, this project of the checkoff educated families on how to use beef as a go-to protein choice that is nutritional without breaking the bank.

–S.D. Cattlemen’s Association