TOPPENISH, WASH. – On Tuesday, October 11, local ranchers and feeders started off the Toppenish Livestock Commission fall round up sale with a $14,250 donation to the Beef Counts program. A 550-pound yearling steer donated by the Grant County Cattlemen was bid on and donated back to the cause 28 times before it was sold, with all proceeds going to the industry-wide program that gets beef to local food banks.
“I’m really proud of what our industry has built through Beef Counts,” said Rob Miller, president of the Washington Cattle Feeders Association. “It feels good to help people, and this positive impact in the community gives shoppers another reason to feel good about their beef purchases.”
The donation is added to Agri Beef Co.’s $50,000 annual donation and other fundraising activities through events, retail partnerships, and county beef producer organizations. The donation brought the program within $314 of the 2016 goal of $100,000.
“Beef Counts is a very personal way to help our community,” said Kevin Curnutt, Yakima County Cattlemen’s Association president. “What better way for us to help our neighbors than provide beef – a source of high quality protein scarcely found in the food bank supply.”
Since 2010, Beef Counts has provided almost one-million servings of beef to hungry families and seniors across Washington. The one-millionth serving will be presented by local ranchers and feeders to a food bank client during a Yakima-area Second Harvest Mobile Food Bank in December.
The goal of the Beef Counts – Washington’s Beef Community United Against Hunger program is to provide local food banks with a year-round supply of nutritious beef. Since 2010, the Beef Counts program has raised over $630,000 to provide beef meals to local families.
“One in seven of our neighbors in Washington struggle to put food on the table,” said Jason Clark, President and CEO of Second Harvest. “It’s wonderful to see Washington’s beef community and local ranchers like these come together to support hungry families.”
Local beef producer and processing company Agri Beef Co., matches donations to the program and processes and delivers the beef to Food Lifeline in Seattle and to Second Harvest in Spokane, where they get the beef out to local communities through mobile food distributions and partnerships with local food banks.
To donate or for more information on the Beef Counts program, visit wabeef.org/beefcounts.