Beef4Hunger finally provides an answer to the long-held question of “Where’s the beef?”
Thanks to this nonprofit, it’s in the stomachs of those who need it most.
Two volunteers from the Shields Township Food Pantry, Greg and Dawn Barnum of Lake Forest, were alarmed to discover just where the beef wasn’t: local food pantries, and, by proxy, hungry neighbors. And, as hobbyist cattle ranchers, they were disturbed by the low quality of the beef available at food banks, with donations from retailers typically at or near its expiration date.
The Barnums combined their agriculture, volunteer and management know-how (Greg has more than 25 years of experience in operations and sales, and Dawn served as chairman of Lake Bluff volunteer organization Missy’s Friends for multiple years) to found the only 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides fresh, protein-rich beef to the nation’s food banks and hunger relief organizations.
What: Drive Fore Food presents its third annual charity golf tournament to benefit Beef4Hunger. The original date, July 26, was rescheduled due to rain. Participants will receive a box lunch from Wisma of Lake Bluff and dinner from Bluffington’s, along with a $1 million hole-in-one challenge and the chance to win big at a silent auction.
Where: Foss Park Golf Course, 3124 Argonne Drive, North Chicago
When: Saturday, Sept. 21, 11 a.m. registration
How: Registration is $100 per person and may be completed online. Checks are to be made out to Beef4Hunger and sent to Drive Fore Food, c/o Russ Armstrong, 220 Birch Ave., Lake Bluff, IL, 60044, or brought to the event.
Beef4Hunger accepts donations of any amount via PayPal, credit card or check, and every $1 donation provides an individual with two protein-rich meals. Beef4Hunger also accepts beef and protein products that meet USDA quality standards and specifications. Any questions should be directed to [email protected].
The organization: Founded in late 2011, Beef4Hunger strives to provide fresh beef high in protein to the nation’s hungry through donations to food banks and hunger relief organizations. Food banks, operating with scarce resources, struggle to provide hungry individuals with food rich in protein. Beef is rich in protein, with USDA-approved beef providing more grams of protein per pound than the CDC’s daily recommended allowance.
“Protein is always a struggle and the first thing to go due to the increased expense and difficulty in storing and distributing fresh protein,” Benny Wechsler, director of the Kosher Food Pantry for the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York, told Today’s Dietitian in 2009. And the struggle is only intensifying as more people seek sustenance from hunger relief organizations. Nearly one in six Americans are considered “food insecure,” and one in five children in Lake and Cook counties are severely underfed.
Beef4Hunger is on track to reach its short-term goal of donating 25,000 meals in 2013. The organization aims to provide fresh beef to all 202 food banks in the United States by 2018.
Photo: More than 250 people waited in line with bags, carts and baskets, anticipating the 360 one pound beef “chubs” from Beef4Hunger June 1 in Waukegan