Maine Egg Farmers Help Struggling Families with Donation of 288,000 Eggs
Farmers Nationwide to Contribute Nearly 10 Million Eggs to Food Banks
AUBURN, Maine – Despite signs of economic recovery, record numbers of families in Auburn, Maine 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.
Moark, LLC, a Land O’Lakes wholly-owned egg subsidiary, is donating 288,000 eggs to Good Shepherd Food Bank on March 26 at 11 a.m. to help families struggling with food insecurity.
Moark’s donation is part of a national effort, organized by the United Egg Producers and Feeding America. For the fifth consecutive spring, America’s egg farmers are giving 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.
“Moark is proud to be partnering with Good Shepherd Food Bank to provide much needed protein to the most needy in our community, especially during the Easter holiday season,” said Bob Hodges, of Moark.
With the poverty rate in Maine at 12.6 percent, approximately 1 in 4 children in Maine are not receiving the nutritious food they need. Even more alarming, Maine ranks 13th in the nation and 1st in New England in terms of food insecurity. In 2011, the Good Shepherd Food Bank distributed 600,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally in Maine to families in need.
“With so many Mainers struggling to access enough nutritious food to feed their families, demand on Good Shepherd Food Bank and our partner hunger relief organizations remains alarmingly high,” said Christine Force, VP of Development at Good Shepherd Food Bank. “This donation will provide much needed nutrition for thousands of families across our state.”
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.
“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.”
Moark’s egg donation is also Land O’Lakes 29th donation in the First Run program. As part of the First Run program, Land O’Lakes has committed to donating truckloads of fresh product to food banks each quarter to help alleviate hunger nationwide.
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About United Egg Producers
United Egg Producers (UEP) is the nation’s leading trade association for U.S. egg farmers, representing nearly 90 percent of U.S. egg farmers, whose members produce eggs including modern cage production, cage-free, free range, organic and other specialty eggs. UEP is based in Alpharetta, GA. To learn more about the egg industry visit www.uepcertified.com. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/UEPCertified or follow our updates on Twitter at twitter.com/UEPCertified.
About Feeding America
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit http://www.feedingamerica.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow our news on Twitter at twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.