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julie buntjer/daily globe Doug Johnson (left) of the Worthington Christian Church food shelf joins JBS general manager Bob Krebs, Manna Food Pantry co-interim director LeRoy Ennenga, JBS Human Resources director Jenny Andersen-Martinez and Manna Food Pantry co-interim director Dennis Weeks inside the Manna Food Pantry earlier this week with some of the pork loins JBS donated to the food pantries.

JBS donates $15,000 in meat to local food shelves

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News Worthington,Minnesota 56187 http://www.dglobe.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/4/0711/23-jbs-food-shelf.jpg?itok=OVW6g3X4
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JBS donates $15,000 in meat to local food shelves
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

WORTHINGTON -- The Christmas season can pose many challenges for those already strapped for cash, and while the local food shelves see a need all year round, this time is especially busy.

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That's why both the Manna Food Pantry and the food shelf at Worthington Christian Church were extremely grateful for a recent 4,000-pound donation of pork products from JBS. The meat donations stocked up the freezers at the pantries and have allowed those in need to get a high-protein, high-quality food.

"We're always strapped for providing meat," said Dennis Weeks, chair of the Manna Food Pantry board of directors and co-interim director with LeRoy Ennenga. "It means a great deal to us and our clients."

Weeks said there were times last summer when the Manna Food Pantry had no meat of any kind to give to its hungry clients. Now, thanks to the JBS donation and access to beef and chicken from Second Harvest, it is able to offer one-half pound of each meat per individual per month.

Approximately 1,800 to 2,000 individuals are served each month by the Manna Food Pantry, with the first Monday after the 15th of each month typically the busiest day for both local food shelves. This month, however, was a bit slower on that date -- perhaps the result of families receiving their Community Christmas Baskets.

JBS donated to the Christmas Basket program as well this year, providing 2,300 pounds of pork loins. Any of the donations left over from the Christmas Baskets were given to the food shelves for distribution to the needy. In all, JBS donated nearly $15,000 worth of meat for the patrons of the food shelves this month.

"It's taking care of the people in our community," said Bob Krebs, general manager of JBS in Worthington. He encouraged both food pantries to call the company any time they run out of meat.

Weeks said he makes sure clients know that JBS donated the meat, adding that "it's very important for them to know you're giving back."

Doug Johnson, who volunteers with the Worthington Christian Church food shelf, said the donations of meat are appreciated by everyone.

"I think it's a big blessing that JBS helps us out so we can get other supplies (with the money that's donated)," he said.

"Both food shelves are important to the community," said Weeks, adding that their separate locations help reach different areas of the community. Manna Food Pantry is located in the lower level of the Westminster Presbyterian Church on Clary Street, while the Worthington Christian Church food pantry is located behind Jaycox Implement on North Douglas Street.

JBS headquarters in Greeley, Colo., reported donating more than 15,000 pounds of pork to food banks in time for the holiday season.

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Julie Buntjer
Julie Buntjer joined the Daily Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington and graduate of Worthington High School, then-Worthington Community College and South Dakota State University, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. At the Daily Globe, Julie covers the agricultural beat, as well as Nobles County government, watersheds, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys needlework (cross-stitch and hardanger embroidery), reading, travel, fishing and spending time with family. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at www.farmbleat.areavoices.com.
(507) 376-7330
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