Yesterday’s blog highlighted youth in agriculture and how state fairs offer the opportunity for producers to connect with consumers.
In case you missed it, read: Feel-good moments from the state fair
Today, I want to share a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. Every once in awhile, you hear about an advocacy effort that just hits all the right notes, and Snack Pak 4 Kids (SP4K) does just that.
In Amarillo, Texas, beef and dairy producers recently presented a check of $163,000 to SP4K’s Beef Stik Program. The money will be used to purchase 218,000 beef sticks to hungry students through the Snack Pack weekend hunger program. The check was presented at the first Beef 4 Kids (B4K) Golf Classic.
Even though we live in the land of plenty where we have access to an abundance of affordable and safe food at our disposal, the sad truth is that 12 million kids in the United States live in "food insecure" homes, according to No Kid Hungry.
What this means is that aside from school lunch during the week, access to nutritious food for these kids at night and on the weekends may be scarce. I hate the idea of a child going to sleep with a rumbling stomach, and I applaud the SP4K program and the Texas dairy and beef communities for supporting this effort.
“When agriculture sees a need, they go and find a way to fill it,” said Dyron Howell, founder of SP4K. “There is so much negative talk about agriculture, especially about the beef and dairy industries, but what isn’t talked about enough is the commitment these industries have to serving their communities.
“Because the beef and dairy communities saw a problem and decided to address it, at-risk kids in the Texas Panhandle will now have access to 68 grams of beef and dairy protein each weekend. This is protein these children would not have access to otherwise,” Howell said.
The SP4K Beef Stik Program launched in October 2017 in an effort to provide more protein for hungry kids in the Texas Panhandle. Consumers can participate by purchasing Snack Pak Beef Stiks online or in convenience stores. Every stick purchased provides an additional stick for a child in need.
According to a press release from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, “The money raised through the B4K Golf Classic will provide an additional 218,000 beef sticks (1.9 million grams of protein). That is 5,500 kids who will receive an extra beef stick in their weekend bag at no additional cost to their local program or donors. Combined with the buy one, give one program, all 10,000 students served through Snack Pak will receive an additional stick.”
The B4K Golf Classic was made possible by Cactus Feeders, Cargill, Nutra Blend, Caviness Beef Packers, Champion Feeders, Hi-Pro Feeds, Jax Transportation, Micro Technologies, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Tyson Foods, Baptist Community Services, Family Medical Center, Friona Industries and Kemin Industries.
It’s an awesome way for the agricultural community to come together to address a real need in Texas.
So how can you get involved with this incredible program? I'm glad you asked. Here are the details:
- Buy SP4K Beef Stiks here. Every stick you purchase provides an additional stick for a child in need.
- Share the Beef Stik info on your social media channels.
- Donate beef to the program.
- Sponsor your community or a local child.
- Give SP4K Beef Stiks at your company meetings, as gifts, etc.
This is truly advocacy done right. It’s feel-good, community-building, relationship-growing and impactful. Cheers to these sponsors and the folks with SP4K. You’re doing amazing work that I’m proud to share on the BEEF Daily blog!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.