-RAISE LIVESTOCK TO DONATE-
Hunger relief agencies in Cabarrus County now have the freshest source of local protein thanks to My Father’s Cows and the rural farmers they partner with.
My Father’s Cows
Fresh meat, which is a good source of protein, is a hard item to come by in food banks. Grass-fed, local meat is even more scarce. In Cabarrus County, this is changing thanks to My Father’s Cows.
The project started when Mill Grove United Methodist Church asked themselves what they could do to help food insecure families in their community and decided that, with some of the farmers in their own congregation and farmers in Cabarrus County, they could raise grass-fed beef to donate to local hunger relief agencies. By using what skills, resources, and knowledge they already had, Mill Grove developed a comprehensive plan to tackle poverty in their community. Mill Grove started small by partnering with a couple of farmers and buying one or two calves from their herds. It costs about $800-$900 to buy a calf. That money goes to the farmers to offset the cost of donating that beef when it’s time for harvest. Farmers raise the livestock on their farms and until the beef is processed. There are a few meat processing facilities in Cabarrus County that Mill Grove works with to keep the operation as close to home as possible. After the beef is processed, Mill Grove transports the meat to food pantries, banks, and soup kitchens in nearby counties.
As My Father’s Cows grew, they looked for other partnerships between rural churches and farmers closer to Mill Grove. Over
the course of 4 years, My Father’s Cows donated beef from five cows, which provided about 3,000 meals. Food insecure families
in Cabarrus County and communities nearby now have access
to a fresh source of protein, thanks to My Father’s Cows and
Mill Grove made My Father’s Cows work by assessing what skills, connections, and abilities they already had. With some rural farmers in their congregation, they had access to animals, land, and knowledge of how to raise cattle. If your church or organization is thinking of innovative ways to donate fresh protein or animal’s products to a hunger relief agency near you, think about what‘s available in your community and what connections you have. Your donations could be eggs, milk, honey, or another type of meat. Your group should consider the community’s immediate needs and work with food banks, pantries, and kitchens to fill any gaps. Grass-fed beef and local protein don’t have to be luxury items only some people can afford. Identify your specialty, build partnerships, and stock food pantries with a healthy, home-grown product that provides much needed nutrients.
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