Beef will be distributed countywide through SLO Food Bank’s agency partners in the upcoming weeks
SAN LUIS OBISPO — After going completely virtual with last year’s livestock auction, the California Mid-State Fair (CMSF) was excited to hold the Junior Livestock Auction in person this July. This event affords children of all ages the hands-on experience of raising livestock for sale, and, for many participants, the sale of their livestock provides hunger relief to thousands of struggling San Luis Obispo County residents. This year, thanks to the generosity of the community and the continued support of compassionate partners, 10,260 pounds of beef were donated to the SLO Food Bank. This vital commodity will be distributed countywide through the SLO Food Bank’s direct distribution sites and its agency partners over the coming weeks.
2021 marks the second year that the James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund’s (JWBYLF) Buyers’ Coalition stepped forward to lead this noble effort. Powered by the charitable contributions of community members, the Buyers’ Coalition purchased 18 head of steer to support local hunger relief efforts. SLO Food Bank Board of Directors Vice-Chair, Joe Simonin participated in the Junior Livestock Auction as a bidder on behalf of the Food Bank. Simonin worked closely with JoAnn Wall, Buyer’s Coalition Committee Chair, who led the effort to track the day’s busy purchasing activity. Together, they worked to support the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H students’ efforts while simultaneously providing a valuable resource for hunger relief in SLO County.
“The young people who chose to exhibit a livestock project at this year’s CMSF knew going in that there was great risk to their endeavors, and they chose to do it anyway. I think it took great courage and perseverance to see these projects through, and the JWBYLF Buyers’ Coalition was proud to be there in person to contribute to their success on the auction block. The fact that we are able to donate much-needed protein to the food insecure in our community makes these efforts so much sweeter”, shared JoAnn.
After livestock is purchased, it needs to be transported for processing, packaging, and distribution. These associated expenses can be costly, and thankfully, Templeton and Visalia Livestock Markets and Central Valley Meat / Harris Ranch continued their generous support of this program by handling all the transportation, processing, and packaging fees for the donated beef at no cost to the SLO Food Bank. This cost savings allows the SLO Food Bank to direct its finite funds to provide thousand more meals throughout SLO County.
“The Mid-State fair protein donated to the SLO Food Bank is truly a community success story,” shared vice-chair Simonin. “The collaborative effort between the SLO Food Bank, the Jim Brabeck Buyers’ Coalition, and Central Valley Meat/Harris Ranch are a testament to the community coming together to address a vital need.” Simonin concluded, “This effort is a real accomplishment thoughtfully executed by many great people!”
The SLO Food Bank is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization serving all of San Luis Obispo County through its direct food programs and network of agency partners. The SLO Food Bank’s mission is to alleviate hunger in San Luis Obispo County and build a healthier community. In 2020, the SLO Food Bank distributed over 5 million pounds of food to help our neighbors struggling with hunger. Prior to the pandemic, one in six SLO County residents was food insecure. Since the pandemic, hunger in SLO County has more than doubled, and the SLO Food Bank remains in front of this accelerating and tragic reality. To learn more about the work done by the SLO Food Bank throughout San Luis Obispo County, please visit slofoodbank.org.
About the James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund
The James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund’s mission is to serve Agriculture-related and at-risk youth in our community through scholarship and capital campaigns that will assist in influencing their futures.