Cook-Offs for a Cause


w_bbq-207Every year, 15-20 communities in North Carolina and Virginia come together to celebrate the artistry, history, and tradition of whole hog barbecue cooking by hosting a Whole Hog Barbecue Series cook-off.

These events not only help to bring neighbors closer together; many of them also serve as fundraisers for local charities.

In fact, these local cook-offs raise more than $114,000 annually for charities through barbecue plate sales and more. To learn more about the charities supported by each event, click on the Event Series page.

The N.C. Pork Council is proud to share in this tradition, and honored to support each of these local contests.

Fighting Hunger with Barbecue

One of the N.C. Pork Council’s philanthropic priorities is fighting childhood hunger. In fact, in 2011 the Pork Council joined together with the seven Feeding America food banks of North Carolina to create The Food Effect, an online network designed to educate North Carolinians about the childhood epidemic in our state, and encourage them to take action, by volunteering or donating to a local food bank.


In 2013, we were able to expand that special partnership when The Whole Hog Barbecue Championship became a part of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA)  Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh. After the judging was completed on Saturday morning and a new champion was crowned, the N.C. Pork Council donated the meat to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, who prepared and sold sandwiches, raising more than $20,000 to fight hunger and preserve the bluegrass tradition.