Protein is an important part of a healthy diet, yet many Arkansans can’t afford to buy meat regularly. That’s where the Arkansas Beef Project steps in.
Formed by the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance in partnership with Farmers Feeding the World and the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association, the project gives local ranchers a chance to help address hunger across the state.
John Paul Pendergrass of Pendergrass Cattle Co. is the lead farmer from Arkansas on the Farmers Feeding the World farm team. Farmers Feeding the World, sponsored by the Farm Journal Foundation, focuses on hunger relief in both the U.S. and internationally, as well as on agricultural research and development. The Arkansas Beef Project was a natural fit.
Pendergrass had been asked to identify a statewide program to help with hunger relief, and his family had made a donation to the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance in honor of his father’s birthday in March 2016.
“I saw what they were doing, and a light bulb came on,” he says.
He and Gary Patton of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association met with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and formed a plan to give local cattlemen a chance to donate to the organization.
Through the program, with help from the Arkansas CattleWomen, ranchers and cattlemen donate funds used to buy domestic ground beef, which is then distributed to food banks and pantries, giving Arkansans a reliable protein source.
“One-hundred percent of the revenue goes to buy ground beef,” Pendergrass says.
Additionally, they can donate cattle for processing, helping feed those in need.
Farm Credit of Western Arkansas also participates, and more commitments are underway. Visit arhungeralliance.org to learn more.