DES MOINES, Iowa — Giving back is a cornerstone of the employees of Cactus Family Farms, and the holiday season is no different. Dedicated to stamping out hunger in the areas where their employees live and work, Cactus Family Farms, along with Cactus Cares, wanted to make a significant impact this holiday season, and that is exactly what they did.
Joining the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) annual “Give-A-Ham” campaign and social media challenge, Cactus Cares challenged the employees of Cactus Feeders and Cactus Family Farms to donate hams and proteins to organizations serving the food insecure. Cactus Cares matched every employee’s donation to amplify their team’s impact further.
“It was a truly unique and humbling experience to be able to choose an organization in my community and see the difference my donation and our entire Cactus team is making. Walking into the school food pantry where my children attend school, it was eye-opening to see how real and present food insecurity is in my small Midwest community,” said Justin Koski, Cactus Family Farms Employee.
Cactus employees who participated in the annual #GiveAHam challenge have supplied over 3,350 pounds of protein to 24 different organizations across seven states to date. Homeless shelters, food pantries and local heroes were among the groups who received the more than 285 hams delivered this holiday season. One 8-pound ham will provide 32 servings of protein or just over 6.5 meals to a community member fighting food insecurity.
“We often think of food insecurity as a global issue, and it is, but hunger is also real and present in the local areas we live and work in every day. Knowing this, it is our mission at Cactus Cares to stand in the gap in our own communities, so every person has enough food to live a healthy and active life,” said Cactus Cares Director Shelby Padgett. “It was amazing to see our Cactus Family Farms team come together and get excited about the difference they were making with the #GiveAHam challenge.”
Hunger in the U.S. alone has grown from about 37 million people before the pandemic to more than 50 million Americans who experienced food insecurity in 2020, according to Feeding America. Cactus Cares remains steadfast in its efforts to provide hunger relief. Whether it is the #GiveAHam challenge, donations of beef and pork, or ongoing support of local food pantries, tangibly improving the well-being of those they serve is at the core of Cactus Cares.
“Our goal with Cactus Cares is to help build strong communities, and we do that by focusing on four key pillars, hunger relief, scholarships and education, leadership and renewal. Through each of these, we can get involved in our communities and still embrace the aspects of Cactus Feeders and our mission of feeding a hungry world,” said Wayne Craig, Cactus Cares Executive Director.
“We want to be good neighbors and build brighter futures for the people in our communities, and we understand that doing so might look different for each cause, initiative and person. That is why we encourage our fellow Cactus Feeders employees to make recommendations and get involved,” said Craig.
For more information about Cactus Cares, visit www.CactusFeedersCares.com.
About Cactus Cares
Founded on the principle that improving communities begin by serving the underfed and under-resourced, Cactus Cares embraces a more sustainable approach of putting food on the tables of those in need. To ensure every family has reliable access to nutrient-dense food now and in the future, they work with local organizations across the country with the same goals, empowering and supporting people within their own locales.
By engaging local citizens seeking to care for and improve the welfare of their neighbors, Cactus Cares provides ongoing support for local food pantries, direct donations of beef and pork, setting up and facilitating grants and scholarships for college- or tech-bound youth, and mentoring others to be better leaders in their own communities.