CONVERSE – First Farmers Bank & Trust, in partnership with pork producers and processors throughout the state, has initiated a direct assistance program to provide protein to food banks throughout Indiana and eastern Illinois.
“Pigs to People to Pork” was established due to the bank’s unique awareness of several processes taking place as a result of COVID-19, causing a dramatic disruption in the availability of protein to those in need. Following the shutdown of major processing plants in the area, producers are facing few or no options in the market. Less processing means less pork on grocery shelves available to the public and therefore even less protein available to food banks providing for those in need.
Chief Agricultural Lending Officer, Jeff Rodibaugh, and other key bank personnel created an ad hoc network of farmers and local processors willing to donate or dramatically reduce livestock and processing costs. Partnering with state not-for-profit “Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry” will allow for an exponentially greater impact.
“During this time of uncertainty, our lending team called on their lifelong relationships to find the compassion of local processing owners and staff to put in extra hours to process pigs that are getting precariously big for their stressed owners into one-pound ground pork packages for the people of our communities.” Chief Agricultural Lending Officer, Jeff Rodibaugh.
“We are in the relationship business of Agriculture and our passionate commitment to our people is what sets us apart at First Farmers. It is the hope of our employees, processors, and pig farmers that through our “Pigs to People to Pork” partnership with Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry that we will provide a smile to a person or child that was looking for a meal this week.” Rodibaugh added.
“Our various partners in the pork industry were immediately aware of what a major processing shutdown would create and were quick to act to help others. To witness so many people extend good will during the time of crisis is humbling and inspirational”. Tade Powell, Senior Vice President, Communications, First Farmers Bank & Trust.
The Pigs to People to Pork effort initiated by our commercial and agricultural lending team is one of three distinct outreach programs taking place at First Farmers Bank & Trust under the umbrella of “Growing Good”. For more information, please visit www.ffbt.com/growinggood