The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair took place months ago, but Westman communities are continuing to reap the benefits this summer.
Over the last few weeks, approximately 1,500 pounds of high-quality pork has been donated to a number of food banks in surrounding communities.
The project started two years ago when the Livestock Committee of the fair made a commitment to look at how their activities could have long term benefits. As a result, this is the second year in a row that a large donation of high-quality pork has been made to a number of food banks.
During the 2012 Winter Fair, 11 pigs were acquired from the Sprucewoods Colony in Brookdale, for the purpose of the pig scrambles held March 28-29.
Following the fair, Ron Kristjansson, a director with the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba and a member of the Winter Fair Livestock Committee, raised the animals until they were at slaughter weight.
This is a significant amount of work, and to ensure that the hard work resulted in maximum benefits to the community, others were brought on board to donate feed and services.
Kristjansson says it was an opportunity to get others involved.
“It’s a very worthwhile project,” he said. “We were able to develop partnerships and get the product to the people who need it.”
More than $1,300 of feed was donated by five Manitoba Co-ops — Co-op Feeds, Neepawa-Gladstone Co-op, Heritage Co-op, Valleyview Co-op and Boundary Co-op.
Abattoirs participated in the project as well. Prairie Rose Meats Ltd., Renard’s Meat Services, Jarvis Meats Ltd. and D.A.L. Meats all donated their services and made certain the meat was received by local food banks.
Recipients of the pork were the Souris and District Harvest Food Bank, Killarney Food Bank, Virden and Area Food Cupboard, Moosomin Food Bank and the Salvation Army in Neepawa.
It was the first time the Neepawa Salvation Army had received the pork, and Amanda Naughton-Gale said the donation was huge for her organization.
“To receive this quantity of high-quality meat that has been processed and wrapped, especially in the summer, means so much,” she said. “Our freezer was starting to look bare.”
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 17, 2012