The National Pork Board donated 500 pounds of pork to Westside Food Bank, for distribution to local people in need, during an event in Santa Monica May 27.

The donation was the result of an online campaign that encouraged people to submit creative pork recipes to the National Pork Board in support of food assistance agencies and for a chance to win cash prizes and gift cards from Food For Less. Through the public’s participation the maximum donation level of 500 pounds of pork was reached, a spokesperson for the pork board said.

“This generous gift from the National Pork Board/America’s Pork Growers couldn’t have come at a better time. Since the start of the economic crisis, over 50 percent more people are asking for emergency food at our member food pantries,” said Genevieve Riutort, Westside Food Bank’s director of development.

“Fresh meat is something that is typically out of reach for Westside Food Bank. This donation of 500 pounds of pork is a welcome addition of much needed high protein food at a time when record numbers of local people are seeking help to keep food on their tables.”

After the presentation at the food bank’s warehouse May 27, the pork was distributed to local people in need via the food assistance programs of Westside Food Bank’s member agencies.