An Idaho beef company has given away millions of dollars worth of American Wagyu steak to those in need.

By Mike Pomranz
April 30, 2020
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Wagyu Steak Being Held by Butcher
Credit: Fumiaki Yamazaki/Getty Images

Imagine going to your local food bank and walking away with a $60 steak? At a time when an overwhelming number of Americans find themselves in need of a good meal, about 35,000 San Franciscans will be able to enjoy a 10-ounce cut of American Wagyu steak thanks to a very upmarket donation from Idaho’s Snake River Farms.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Snake River Farms typically supplies its high-end beef to the restaurant industry, but due to nationwide COVID-19 closures, the meat producer been donating its steaks to those in need of food assistance instead. For the Bay Area, that meant $2 million worth of American Wagyu will be distributed by the non-profit TogetherSF to organizations including San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, La Cocina, Meals on Wheels, Self Help for the Elderly, and public housing sites.

“It’s kind of a random thing to have come up, but it’ll be really nice to see people’s faces when they get something they really weren’t expecting,” TogetherSF’s Kanishka Karunaratne Cheng told the paper. “It’s so rewarding.”

Meanwhile, the site Munchies followed the beef trail and discovered that San Francisco wasn’t the only area receiving restaurant-quality steaks from the same company. Snake River Farms is one of four premium brands operated by Idaho’s Agri Beef, and as a whole, they’ve reportedly been donating meat from coast to coast. On April 9, Agri Beef announced a donation of 16,000-pounds of high-quality beef to The Idaho Foodbank; and on April 20, they said they’d donated another $8 million in steaks “to medical workers on the front-line of COVID-19, displaced restaurant workers and affected communities […]in cities hard-hit by novel coronavirus including New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco with approximately 200,000 steaks being distributed to recipients in these cities.”

"We are firm believers that in times of crisis, food can bring comfort and healing,” Jay Theiler, Executive Director of Marketing at Snake River Farms, said in the second announcement. “We care deeply and are grateful to everyone on the front lines that are risking their own health for the sake of all of us, restaurant workers who have been displaced and our community members who are in need."

Theiler also stated that “we are all in this together”—which is true… though some of us have nicer steak than the rest of us, so it’s good to hear they are sharing it with those in need.