Garrett Fortune, who works in inventory control, stands outside Daniele Inc. headquarters in Pascoag. The meat processing company recently donated 35,000 pounds of meat to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
PASCOAG â€” When Daniele Inc. Fine Charcuterie in Pascoag produces its premium gourmet meats, the process involves slicing meats to be packaged for consumers.
The byproduct is high-quality meat trimmings that Daniele, Inc. has donated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, where it can be distributed to hungry families.
Danieleâ€™s donation last week of 35,000 pounds of meat is part of an annual donation that ranges from 60,000 to 80,000 pounds, said Garrett Fortune of Danieleâ€™s inventory control department.
â€śThatâ€™s an enormous contribution to the nutrition of Rhode Islanders who depend on food pantries to meet their basic food needs,â€ť said Andrew Schiff, CEO of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
â€śThey can use this meat to make soup, sandwiches, stews and casseroles for their families. Itâ€™s especially valuable as we enter the winter months, when families really appreciate a warm meal on the table,â€ť Schiff said.
Daniele Inc. is headquartered in Pascoag and is known nationally for producing some of the best Italian cured meats in the country.
The company was founded seven decades ago in Italy by World War II refugees Stefano and Carolina Dukcevich.
Their son, Vlado, brought the skills he had learned from his parents to the United States in 1976, building a factory in the forests of Pascoag.
Vladoâ€™s children are now active in the company, which produces gourmet dry sausage, prosciutto, sopressata, pancetta, salame and mortadella. The business now employs 300 people.
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is a non-profit organization located in Providence.
The Food Bank solicits, stores and distributes food products donated by supermarkets, wholesalers, food processors, local farmers and community food drives.
The food is then distributed to the Food Bankâ€™s statewide network of more than 250 member agency programs.
In the past fiscal year, the Food Bank distributed 9.4 million pounds of food. For more information about the Food Bank, please visit www.rifoodbank.org.