Coronavirus: $2m worth of wagyu beef donated to US food banks by family farm

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'We are firm believers that in times of crisis, food can bring comfort and healing'

World | The Independent

A donation of $2 million (£1.5 million) worth of American Wagyu steak was made to a San Francisco food bank by a family farm, to help those most affected by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The prized beef was only a small part of an estimated $8 million (£6.3 million) steak donation to the worst-hit states in the US by the family-owned company called Snake River Farms in Idaho, according to Fox News.

The farm typically sends its produce to high-end restaurants but decided to make the donation after stay-at-home orders forced most non-essential businesses to close.

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Wagyu is a highly sought after and expensive meat due to its tenderness and unique flavour, it can cost up to $200 (£159) per pound, and the cows that produce it can sell for as much as $30,000 (£23,800), according to Business Insider.

The steaks are being cut and packaged in a warehouse California before being sent to the food banks in state’s areas worst hit by the virus, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

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“We are firm believers that in times of crisis, food can bring comfort and healing,” said Jay Theiler, the executive director of marketing at Snake River Farms, Fox News reported.

“While we are hundreds of miles away, we care deeply about these restaurant workers, their families, and the affected communities in California that are having a tough time and want them to know how much they mean to us,” he said.

The number of Americans seeking aid has soared in recent weeks as the coronavirus pandemic causes unemployment to soar, and food banks across the country have meanwhile faced severe supply strains.

“Not in my lifetime has there been a precedent for this,” said Catherine D’Amato, chief executive of the Greater Boston Food Bank, said as the pandemic unfolded in March.

“We know how to respond to fires, earthquakes, floods. There isn’t a playbook for this.”

Nearly 3.8 million more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the virus continues to affect a historic economic downturn.

The total number of workers that have been left unemployed in the US since the outbreak began is more than 30 million.

  • Coronavirus: $2m worth of wagyu beef donated to US food banks by family farm photo


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