MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Second Harvest Heartland is going hog-wild after receiving a major donation from Minnesota Pork Producers.

“This will benefit over 20,000 people,” said Tony Mans, director of food sourcing for Second Harvest Heartland. “It’s something that’s desperately needed within the food shelf system.”

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The $15,000 donation is double what Minnesota Pork Producers gave last year.

“Last year they gave us just short of 2,000 pounds and when they left at the end of the event they said we’re going to double it next year,” said Mans. “I was somewhat skeptical but they proved me wrong.”

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Protein products are something that food banks often lack. Making this 5,000 pounds of donated meat all that more valuable.

“What’s great about the donation is that ground pork is a very versatile product. You can put it in spaghetti, you can make pork patties, use it as a pizza topping,” said Mans.

Second Harvest Heartland distributes food to more than 1,000 food banks across Minnesota. Mans said last year they gave away 73 million pounds of food from their warehouse, a new record.

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“It’s good that we were able to do that much to support our community,” said Mans. “But it also shows how desperate the need is still out there.”