A local nonprofit that helps ranchers donate fresh beef to food banks and shelters across the region surpassed a hefty goal recently with no signs of slowing down.
The Ten Seventeen Project, reached a 114,000-pound beef donation milestone this summer; over 57 tons of protein has been provided, since 2014, to food banks and shelters covering Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, and Lake Counties equating to over 450,000 individual servings of hamburger.
When it became clear that COVID-19 was going to affect the region, The 1017 Project was able to immediately increase their cattle donations to food banks, shelters, and churches by 200%.
In addition, the Project has committed to sending 10 cattle each month, through local USDA-certified Butcher Boys, into food banks in 2021.
“We raise and supply fresh beef to over 40 food banks and shelters in a 7,000 square mile area of Central Oregon,” said 1017 Project Founder and Executive Director, Jordan Weaver.
Because food banks rely heavily on donated food from grocery stores that are now struggling to keep shelves stocked for consumers, the 1017 beef has become a reliable staple in food banks and shelters from Prineville to Sisters and Madras to Christmas Valley.
“Our clients are used to being last in line for just about everything in their lives, including food. The 1017 Project, instead, puts our clients first by using premium cuts from the entire cow that comes fresh-from-the-butcher to our food pantry,” said Jordan Reeher, Director of St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank in Bend.
According to the Oregon Food Bank, the state is experiencing a hundred-year flood of hunger, and the associated economic disruption from the pandemic will take Oregon three to five years to recover from.
At a time when many non-profits are having to rethink how they raise funds in communities that are experiencing high rates of unemployment, the unique business model of The 1017 Project has positioned the organization for long-term sustainability and growth.
“The Project generates a majority of its own revenue through event leases, private leases and cattle sales from our own herd,” Weaver said.
The 1017 Project accepts public help through financial donations on its website, www.1017project.com. Ranchers can also donate cattle, hay, and pasture and receive a tax deduction.
Supporters can also send contributions to The 1017 Project, P.O. Box 19, Powell Butte, OR 97753.