By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Dec. 16 — For the second consecutive year, The Farm Ministry recently provided a donation of beef to two local non-profit organizations. Page One and Page Alliance for Community Action (PACA) were each recipients of 100 pounds of fresh Page County ground beef to distribute through their food bank and Porch Visits program, respectively.
The program created and coordinated by Rockingham Cooperative to help both farmers and non-profits, partnered with Page Famers Cooperative and Burner’s Beef to provide this year’s donation.
“It’s wonderful to be able to uplift our fellow community members during the Christmas season with this donation of fresh hamburger that can nourish families as they gather throughout the holidays,” said Darrell Hulver, Farm Ministry Volunteer and Page Cooperative General Manager. “Page Cooperative is proud to be able to support our local community members through these two great organizations and continue to partner with the Farm Ministry to aid in distribution.”
Farm Ministry is a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect agricultural producers with those less fortunate in the community they live in. The organization first began carrying out its mission in 2017.
Rockingham Cooperative partnered with local food pantries, churches and businesses to create the Cheese Ministry. The idea was to generate funding to support the production of cheese that would then be distributed to those most in need. The program created a new market for farmers, while also helping stock the shelves of local food banks.
Since 2018, the Cheese Ministry has delivered more than $1 million of high-quality dairy products to dozens of communities across Virginia. The initial program was so successful, it soon lead to the formation of the Beef Ministry and Pork for the Pantry operating under the same concept through the umbrella organization known as The Farm Ministry.
“This contribution to PACA and Page One will go a long way in supporting individuals within our communities in Page County this holiday season as the weather gets colder and families must rely on other sources, outside of the school system, to provide for their children’s daily food needs,” a press release issued by the non-profit organization stated. “This donation is a regularly scheduled contribution of an earlier commitment by these organizations.”
A fund supported equally by Rockingham Co-Op and Page Co-Op has $5,000 for these types of charity projects.
“It’s not just a one time deal…we may be able to do this a few times a year,” said Jared Burner, owner of Burner’s Beef and a member of both the Page and Rockingham Co-Ops. “Burner’s Beef is a tool for what they are doing…It helps us out too.”
PACA’s donation was delivered to Luray High School on Friday to be stored in new freezers installed last year. The nutritional staff of Page County Public Schools also provides in-kind support of the Porch Visits program.
“We can’t do it without Page County Public Schools’ nutritional department,” said Megan Gordon, program coordinator for PACA and chair of the Page County School Board. “We appreciate this donation. Our families are always thankful anytime they get a meat product…This time of year, it will stretch their dollar, it will stretch their food dollars…and our families will be very excited to receive it.”
The beef donated to these non-profits is born and raised right here in Page County. Locally grown beef is gaining a positive reputation outside of the area. The Page County Economic Development Authority has a subcommittee working on the potential of locating a beef processing facility within the county.
This holiday season, Page County beef will once again help feed those in need through the charitable cooperative efforts of Page Cooperative, Rockingham Cooperative and Burner’s Beef through The Farm Ministry.
“Part of the ministry is to help the producers as well. It’s a win-win for everybody,” Hulver said. “We care about programs that directly help families.”
More information at www.thefarmministry.org
Farm Ministry partners with Page Co-Op, Burner’s Beef to provide Page One donation
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