On Tuesday, the Washington beef community held their annual fundraiser, Beef Counts, in Toppenish. The one day sale to help hungry Washingtonians raised $23,657. KayDee Gilkey with the Washington state Beef Commission said each year ranchers, beef producers and those associated with the industry look forward to the opportunity to help those neighbors that are struggling.


“This program is just kind of a larger way of our farmers and ranchers being able to help those folks that are hungry families that are in food insecurity positions.”

Gilkey said 28 businesses and individuals participated in Tuesday’s sale, with the steer donated by the Kittitas County Cattlemen. This was the 10th year of the Beef Counts event, and Gilkey said what made this week’s event more impressive was that it took place during such a challenging year.

“We were just wondering how it would go because there are so many wildfires, across our state and the Pacific Northwest and so much need even amongst our own community that perhaps some folks might have decided to put their money somewhere else, so we were just really pleased, humbled, and appreciative of the beef community for stepping up in this way.”

The goal of the Beef Counts Program is to provide local food banks with a year-round supply of nutritious beef. Since 2010, Beef Counts has raised more than $1 million to help those in need, providing more that 2.5 million servings of beef across Washington.

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