PURCHASED ... Alana Nussbaum shows off her prized steer at last month's Adams County 4-H Fair. The steer was purchased by Bunge North America to be used to feed qualified local families. (Photo provided)
A steer purchased at the livestock auction which closed the recent Adams County 4-H Fair will be providing food for families in the North Adams Schools district.
The 1,250-pound steer — raised by Alana Nussbaum in Adams County — was purchased by Bunge North America and processed without charge by Manley Meats, of rural Decatur into nearly 500 14-ounce cans of beef.
The food was then turned over to HERO Meals, Feeding Adams County of North America, a newly formed organization.
The goal of the new group is to feed hungry families through the distribution of food sent home in backpacks weekly with qualified elementary and middle school aged children (those on free- and reduced-price lunches).
The group is currently working with representatives of Northwest and Southeast schools to develop a plan for food distribution which protects the anonymity of the families, a representative of the group explained.
In addition to donating the steer, Bunge Plant Manager Keith Sanders (husband of Mari Sanders, one of the founding members of Hero Meals), facilitated a $1,000 corporate cash donation to the project.
The new organization was unveiled publicly at a North Adams Board of Education a couple of months back. Karen Carty told the board that the group has "taken as its personal mission" the goal of reducing the number of students in the community "who live with chronic hunger."
The HERO Meals program, Carty said, is modeled after similar efforts in Wells County involving Norwell Elementary School students, and at Pleasant Dale Church, which serves students at Adams Central.