Pork industry's loss, food banks' gain
- May 21, 2008 5:41 AM |
- By Andree Lau
by Andree Lau, CBCnews.ca
It's been a dismal last few years for Canada's pork producers, culminating last month in the beginning of an unprecedented cull. But the industry's collapse is giving Prairie food banks a helping hand.
With feed and fuel costs rising, Canada's 10,000 pork producers were hit by prices that plummeted to pennies per pound. The federal cull is designed to balance out supply.
More than 150,000 pigs, or 10 per cent of the country's breeding herd, will be killed off by this fall under a $50-million federal program.
The governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are covering the cost of processing the pigs so that some ground pork can be diverted to food banks.
Meat costs the Red Deer Food Bank, for example, $400 to $500 a week, so the shipments will be welcome. The first deliveries are expected this month. As much as 272,000 kilograms (about 600,000 pounds) of ground pork could go through Alberta's food bank shelves by the time the cull is over.
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