COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. — Sunrise Acres Egg Farms of Hudsonville and Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch of Saranac are helping in the fight against hunger by donating more than 200,000 eggs to Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank.
Families continue to struggle to put food on their tables, leading more and more to turn to food assistance organizations across the country for help. In fact, more than 48 million Americans live in food-insecure homes.
This annual donation, on top of what the companies already donate to the Food Bank and other local organizations, is highly anticipated because it fills the protein gap found at most food pantries. With more than 5 million laying hens, Herbrucks Poultry Ranch is the largest egg producer in Michigan. Sunrise Acres, at 2.1 million, is in the top four.
1 in 6 people in our region struggle with food insecurity, or are unsure where they will find their next meal, numbers which are even greater for children and the elderly. Feeding America West Michigan serves 100,000 households in 40 counties in Western Michigan and distributes 24 million lbs per year to over 1,250 food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
Among the most-needed items at food assistance organizations are sources of high-quality protein, such as fresh eggs. According to the USDA, one large egg delivers six grams of protein and 13 essential nutrients such as choline, folate, iron and zinc. Additionally, the USDA concluded in 2011 that the average amount of cholesterol was 14 percent lower and vitamin D content was 64 percent higher than previously thought.
CEO of Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank Ken Estelle notes that, “For families in poverty, good sources of protein are hard to come by, and for most small food pantries, protein is a real gap on their shelves. We look forward to this donation every year because we know it fills that void. Eggs are rich in protein, they’re versatile, they’re central to so many recipes, and people know how to cook them.”
Ken also states that, because these are farm-fresh eggs, “This donation will be distributed very quickly. Substantial as it is, we expect it to be on the plates of those in need within the next two weeks.”
Consumers can also participate in the nationwide effort by going to www.facebook.com/UEPCertified and pledging to buy UEP-certified eggs. For every pledge received, United Egg Producers will donate one carton of eggs to a local food assistance organization.