PALMDALE – The city of Palmdale’s South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES) received 4,400 pounds of pork on Tuesday from Kids Feeding Kids, a program dedicated to helping the hungry in the Antelope Valley by providing healthy sources of “farm to table” protein.
Kids Feeding Kids is comprised of Antelope Valley youth who participate in 4-H, Grange, FFA, and Independent Livestock. The youngsters raise and then sell quality animals at the Kiwanis Jr. Livestock Auction, which typically takes place during the week of the Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival.
Due to the continued COVID-19 restrictions, for the first time in 65 years, the annual Kiwanis Jr. Livestock Auction was held as a virtual event. Brook Mac, of the Leona Valley Racketeers 4-H Club, said she earned her Emerald Star Award by raising eight of the pigs that were purchased and then donated back to this project.
“I wanted to do something special to earn my Emerald Star, especially because this is my last year, and because of the circumstances surrounding this year,” Mac said. “I thought that by raising these pigs with this donation as the goal would be a great experience, and one that I could share as I mentored other 4-H youth as we worked together to raise these pigs.”
Mac was just one of a dozen youth who came out to see the results of all their hard work.
Several of the buyers who made the donation possible also came out to see the product loaded into the freezer at SAVES. One of the buyers, Sandy Smith, and her group known as the Barnyard Belles were responsible for more than half of the 30 pigs that were purchased for this donation.
“This program gives back twice,” Smith explained. “First, it supports the youth who have worked hard all year to raise these animals. Without a buyer, that work has no financial reward. Second, it gives directly by feeding families.”
Several of the Belles were on hand for the delivery, all wearing their signature pink attire.
“We appreciate the generosity and hard work of Kids Feeding Kids for making a real difference in the lives of those in need in our community,” said SAVES Coordinator Patricia Morales. “This food will help countless families over the coming winter months.”
Kids Feeding Kids grew out of the need to help families struggling with food issues in the Antelope Valley. Another goal for the program was to help strengthen the capacity of both SAVES and Grace Resource Center.
“This is our second year donating this meat and already we see these two organizations working closer,” explained Kids Feeding Kids Coordinator Debbie Dino. “Without the freezer space that SAVES provides, this donation simply wouldn’t be possible.”
The SAVES program was started by the city of Palmdale in 1983 to assist individuals and families who are experiencing a temporary emergency situation. The day-to-day operations of SAVES and staffing are funded by the city of Palmdale through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Food is provided through a collaboration with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, federal programs, and the daily contributions of local markets, stores and restaurants.
[Information via news release from the city of Palmdale.]