Five hundred beef patties are on the menu this month at the Community Table in Alliance, Nebraska, thanks to some area ranchers and local businesses.
May is Beef Month in Nebraska and across the nation, and cattlemen and women wanted to do something to serve a local food pantry, explained Jerry Underwood, a longtime cattle producer and industry leader.
“A delicious beef hamburger for lunch is a tasty and nutritious carry-out meal that the Cattle Capital Cattlemen donated in service to others,” he said.
The Community Table is an all-volunteer, non-profit started in 2019 to provide a free, nourishing noon meals Monday through Friday in downtown Alliance. Businesses, churches, individuals and groups adopt a day to serve food to anyone seeking a meal.
Underwood contacted Whitney Baldwin, coordinator of the Community Table, and inquired about food needs. Ground beef to serve 125 meals per day topped the list.
From there, he made phone calls and sent emails to Cattle Capital Cattlemen members, seeking volunteer servers and financial donations.
Clayton Krause, a meat cutter and Cattle Capital Cattlemen member, who with his family owns and operates Table Top Meats in Hemingford, ordered nearly 170 pounds of ground beef and offered to make the 500 beef patties.
“The project came together in about 10 days, with financial donations, the beef, and plans to serve once a week during May,” Underwood said.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the community service project has been rewarding, those involved said. Beef burgers are served with baked beans and potato chips or other items.
Packaging labels on the take-out container say: “May is Beef Month! Enjoy a hamburger from Cattle Capital Cattlemen & Table Top Meats.”
Agricultural awareness is an aspect of food security that the cattlemen hope to share.
“We’re glad to be able to help out in a small way to feed nutritious beef and to address hunger in our community,” Underwood said.
The Community Table and CCC volunteers served 121 meals May 21.