BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Local members of the Somerset County 4-H, including several from Bridgewater, donated two hogs to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County.

In April, the 4-H’ers purchase pigs from Rutgers University that they are going to raise and display at the fair for their livestock project. There were extra pigs in the litter, according to a release, so Susie Norz, of Norz Hill Farm in Hillsborough, took the lead on raising a pig for the food bank.

The hogs were fed soy protein and vegetables from the farm, and the 4-H’ers wanted to be able to donate the pigs free and clear so the food bank didn’t have to pay for anything, including processing of the hogs. Members of the club received some donations, and the rest of the money to care for them was raised through Norz Hill Farm & Market substituting their regular donation jars to Farmer’s Against Hunger with jars that explained about the money they were raising for the processing of the hogs.

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Through the efforts, members of the Branchburg Beef Dairy and Livestock Club raised $760 in five weeks, and exceeded the expenses of the processing, which will allow them to look into raising another pig.

The food bank was grateful for the donation. The members of the 4-H learned the food bank serves over 1,400 people a month, and the donation of about 600 pounds of meat will allow people a different variety of food then what the food bank has purchasing power for, like bacon.

Marie Scannell, director of the food bank, explained to the 4-H’ers that the toughest time of the year is the summer, when families need help feeding children who would normally have received meals at school. That is 10 times more food needed, she said.

Aiding in the donation were, from Bridgewater, Will Staats and Elijah Starts; from Branchburg, Mike Powell and Gianna Casey; from Hillsborough, Alex Norz, Susie Norz, Megan Norz and Hannah McCray; and from Montgomery, Megan Parise, Lauren Parise, Cailin Parise and Kara Johnson.