The City of Palmdale’s South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES) received a substantial meat donation on Tuesday, Sept. 29 provided from the Kids Feeding Kids program.
4,400 pounds of pork was given to SAVES by Kids Feeding Kids, a program dedicated to helping the hungry in the Antelope Valley by providing healthy sources of “farm to table” protein to two of the Antelope Valley’s largest food banks, SAVES and Grace Resource Center.
Kids Feeding Kids is comprised of Antelope Valley youth who participate in 4-H, Grange, FFA, and Independent Livestock, who raise and then sell quality animals at the Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival Kiwanis Jr. Livestock Auction which typically takes place during the week of fair. Due to the continued COVID-19 event restrictions, for the first time in 65 years the Annual Kiwanis Jr. Livestock Auction was held as a virtual event spanning over seven days with “add-on” donations running for a total of 10 days. Leona Valley Racketeers 4-H Quartz Hill senior Brook Mac 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 shared. “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 make 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,” explained Kids Feeding Kids Coordinator Debbie Dino, “and already we see these two organizations working closer. Without the freezer space that SAVES provides, this donation simply wouldn’t be possible.”
SAVES provides a practical and caring approach to serving people in need. 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.