Despite signs of economic recovery, record numbers of families in Indiana and across America are currently relying on food assistance. In fact, one in eight Americans will receive help in 2012 from local food banks. And among the most needed items are sources of high quality protein.
Indiana's own Midwest Poultry Services and Berne Hi-Way Hatchery donated more than 140,000 eggs to the Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana on March 28 between 8:00am and 9:15am, to help families struggling with food insecurity.
Midwest Poultry Services and Berne Hi-Way Hatchery's efforts are part of a national effort, organized by the United Egg Producers and Feeding America. For the fifth consecutive spring, America's egg farmers gave the Easter Bunny and families in need, a helping hand by donating nearly 10 million fresh eggs. That brings the number of eggs farmers have contributed since 2008 to 60 million — equaling nearly 5 million dozen.
Mike Krouse of Midwest Poultry Services and Bob Bixler of Berne Hi-Way Hatchery expressed their excitement to donate eggs to families in Indiana during this season.
For food banks across America, high quality sources of protein, such as eggs, are especially needed and valued. According to the USDA, one large egg delivers six grams of protein, along with 13 essential nutrients, including choline, folate, iron and zinc. After a review of the nutrient composition of standard large eggs last year, USDA concluded that the average amount of cholesterol was 14 percent lower, and vitamin D content was 64 percent higher, than previously measured.
More than 90,000 people receive emergency food from the Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, Inc. each year.
"Our northeast Indiana egg farmers are so generous for helping us feed hungry people. They understand how important protein is, especially for those who do not have enough to eat in the first place," said Jane Avery, executive director of the food bank. "Berne Hi-Way Hatchery & Midwest Poultry Services are wonderful compassionate corporate partners."
"If you've ever met an egg farmer, you know just how incredibly generous and giving these men and women are," said Gene Gregory, president of United Egg Producers. "All year long, but especially at Easter, they proudly do what they can to support the communities in which they live and work."