In 2017, Susie Norz, of Hillsborough, NJ, decided to help area residents who might not have access to enough protein sources. Since then, members of the Branchburg Beef, Dairy and Livestock Club, part of Somerset County 4-H Youth Development Program, have raised extra hogs to donate pork to area food banks.
Club members raised the hogs at Norz Hill Farm with their own project animals and brought them all to the Somerset County 4-H Fair. They also did fundraising at both the County Fair and at the Norz Hill Farm Market to cover the processing of the meat so the food banks could receive the pork at no cost.
In the first year, more than 600 pounds of pork was donated to The Food Bank Network of Somerset County. In 2018, the club was able to once again donate 600 pounds of pork, this time to three area food banks: Food Bank Network of Somerset County, Hillsborough Township Food Pantry and Franklin Township Food Bank. Each year, members have successfully raised over $700 to cover the cost of processing.
The club members were all very pleased to be able to help people in the community who are less fortunate and the food banks have been very grateful for the donations. These food banks serve more than 1,000 people each month and the club’s donation allows the food banks to offer bacon, sausage and cuts of meat that they typically cannot afford to offer their clients.
The Branchburg Beef, Dairy and Livestock 4-H club members learned how to care for, handle, and show beef and dairy cattle, goats, swine and other livestock. They include: Sydney Billera, Gianna Casey, Colton Grzankowski, Kara Johnson, Jacquilin Kirby, Alex Norz, Megan Norz, Susie Norz, Cailin Parise, Lauren Parise, Mike Powell, Elijah Staats and Wil Staats and Megan Parise who have since graduated. These 4-H Club members attend the following schools: Bridgewater Raritan High School, Delaware Valley High School, Hillsborough Middle School, Montgomery High School, Somerset County Vo-Tech, Woodbridge High School, Raritan Valley Community College and University of Northwestern Ohio.