Press Release

ISA Collaboration Provides Protein for Chicago Heights Residents

July 21, 2016


Community Collaboration Provides Protein for Chicago Heights Residents
Illinois Soybean Farmers and State Sen. Toi Hutchinson Donate More Than 600 Pounds of Pork to New Chicago-area Food Pantry 

BLOOMINGTON, ILL. – July 21, 2016 – Protein-rich ground pork will soon be available at the Bloom Township Food Pantry thanks to the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program and State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights). As part of its Soy in the City initiative, a program that helps urban consumers understand how soybeans impact their daily lives, ISA will donate more than 600 pounds of ground pork in honor of today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Soybeans play a bigger role in everyday life than most people realize, including the food on your table, feed for animals and fuel powering local buses,” says Sharon Covert, ISA director and soybean farmer from Tiskilwa, Ill. “Through Soy in the City, we hope to share the many positive ways soybeans impact local communities.”


Chicago plays a critical role to the success of Illinois farmers. From the infrastructure that moves soybeans to the marketplace to the manufacturers who turn the beans into food, fiber and fuel for the world, communities like Chicago Heights are directly supporting Illinois farmers. 


“I am so pleased to partner with soybean farmers in our state to provide nutritious and much needed food for Bloom Township residents,” Sen. Toi Hutchinson said. “It’s the generosity of people both inside and outside of our communities that make Illinois a great place to live, work and raise a family.”


Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at Bloom Township Food Pantry celebrates the newly constructed 3,000-square-foot donation center. The food pantry offers eligible Bloom Township residents meat, dairy products, fresh vegetables, fruits and canned goods once a month.


Connecting farmers and consumers doesn’t stop with the ISA ground pork donation to Bloom Township Food Pantry. Throughout the summer, Soy in the City connections will be made in various places around Chicago to highlight this small bean with a big impact. Those living outside the Chicago area can follow along with #SoyintheCity on Instragram, Facebook and Twitter.


“Rural farmers and urban consumers have more in common than most people think,” says Covert. “We care about the same issues – from food to the environment to infrastructure – so farmers like me have a real opportunity to talk with consumers who are three or four generations removed from farms.”


ISA made the ground pork donation possible with the help of Pork Power, the Illinois Pork Producers program that provides protein to local food depositories. Soybean and pig farmers work together to produce quality food. Pigs eat 74 percent of the soybean meal fed in Illinois, and animal agriculture is the top market for soybean farmers.


The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C.  ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace.  For more information, visit the website



Photo Caption: The Illinois Soybean Association and State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) donate more than 600 pounds of ground pork to the Bloom Township Food Pantry during the July 21 ribbon-cutting ceremony. The meat will be used to feed eligible residents of the Chicago Heights community.


For more information, contact:
Amy Roady

Mike Levin
Director of Issues Management Analysis

Sarah Duwe