Michigan Allied Poultry Industry (MAPI) announced April 30 that its member farms donated more than five million eggs to food pantries, ministries, food drive events and families in need in 2018, for a grand total of 419,350 dozen, or 5,032,200 eggs donated.

“Michigan’s family-owned egg farms are a part of our West Michigan and Mid-Michigan communities, and it’s important to them to give back,” MAPI Executive Director Allison Brink. “Michiganders are fortunate to live in a state with access to nutritious, local food like eggs, which are a staple of a healthy and balanced diet. Our farms want to make sure that we’re extending that access to as many people as possible.”

MAPI member farms that contributed to the total donation amount include DeWeerdt Poultry Farm, Farm Crest Foods, Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, Schipper Eggs, Sunrise Acres Egg Farm, VandeBunte Eggs and Zoet Poultry.

“As a local farmer and egg producer, we are invested in our community and feel it is important to use the farm’s resources to support those in need,” said Steve DeWeerdt of DeWeerdt Poultry Farm. “The Hamilton and Holland communities have helped support us for three generations, and we consider it a privilege to give back through organizations like Hungry for Christ.”

Michigan is 6th in the nation for egg production, with eight family-owned farms and 15 million birds, mainly in West Michigan. The egg industry has a total of $625 million in economic impact in the state of Michigan, producing 3,846 million eggs in Michigan every year.

“It means the world to our partners to know they can get fresh eggs from us nearly every week to help feed their families,” said Tracy Brower, director of Hungry for Christ, a ministry and food pantry serving residents in west Michigan that receives egg donations from DeWeerdt Poultry Farm and Schipper Eggs. “Protein items are an essential part of a healthy diet. We’re blessed to provide healthy local eggs, meeting the needs of families in our communities.”

Eggs provide the most grams of protein per dollar spent, at 55 grams per dollar. Packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals for only 70 calories per egg, they also contain lutein and zexanthin, antioxidants that help prevent macular degeneration, as well as choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and adult brain function.