Children's Museum pork donation

Staff from the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota haul packages of pork Friday into ECHO Food Shelf. The museum raises pigs at its farm area each summer before donating meat from the hogs once they're taken to market. Photo by Pat Christman

MANKATO — Two not so little pigs went to market, and now the pork will go all the way home to families in need.

Christensen Farms of Sleepy Eye donated two pigs in May to the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota, where the hogs lived over the summer in the museum's Ridley Farm Animal Experience section. The section, where the pigs are raised just as they would've been on the farm, is meant to teach children about where their food comes from.

At the end of the season, the 255- and 300-pounds hogs are taken to the Vernon Center Market. Museum staff delivered more than 300 pounds of the packaged pork Friday to ECHO Food Shelf.

“It was part of our agreement with Minnesota Pork that the meat would be donated to a local food shelf or a place in need,” said Rochelle Koberoski, the museum’s farm manager. “We contacted ECHO and they were happy to take the meat.”

Delivered in packages of two pork chops or 2 pounds of sausage, the meat should be enough to last through a week of distribution, said Sara Diel, assistant manager at the food shelf.

“We’re very grateful to the Children’s Museum and happy for all the community support,” she said. “We couldn’t do what we do without it.”

ECHO volunteer Bob Marsh said the donation came at an opportune time. The meat freezer was just starting to look bare.

“I didn’t have any pork and beef to put out today, so this is really perfect timing,” he said.

The museum will continue to raise pigs at the farm in future summers, Koberoski said. They first started doing so last year, with the pigs donated by a different farm. 

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArolaMFP.

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