Source: Smithfield Foods Inc.
Smithfield Foods Inc. and Food Lion joined forces to donate more than 125,000 pounds of protein and 9,000 pounds of fresh produce to multiple food banks across North Carolina to assist communities affected by Hurricane Florence. Building on Smithfield’s initial 120,000-pound protein donation immediately after the storm, this donation was part of the company’s 2018 Helping Hungry Homes donation tour. Now in the program’s 10th year, Helping Hungry Homes is Smithfield’s signature hunger-relief initiative focused on alleviating hunger and helping Americans become more food secure.
The donation, equivalent to more than 500,000 servings, was divided and distributed to Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina in Fayetteville, and the Wilmington and Greenville branches of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.
“Our communities have been in a constant state of recovery after this devastating hurricane season,” says Peter Werbicki, president and chief executive officer for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. “Smithfield and Food Lion have been tremendous partners offering support and encouragement for those in need, both immediately after the storm and in the months following.”
“When Hurricane Michael hit our areas, we were still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Florence,” says Ron Pringle, director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina. “In the wake of these two hard-hitting storms, the continued support we are receiving from Smithfield and Food Lion is critical to the recovery of our communities.”
Smithfield and Food Lion representatives presented the donations to each food bank at local events. The donations will provide protein and fresh produce throughout each food bank’s service area, reaching countless food insecure individuals and those that are feeling the effects of the recent storms in North Carolina.
“Food Lion is passionate about fighting hunger, and we understand fully that as a result of this year’s hurricanes more of our neighbors in the towns and cities we serve are having to make difficult choices about feeding their families,” says Meg Ham, president of Food Lion. “These are the communities we all call home, and we care deeply about our impacted communities. Along with our customers, we’ve donated more than $400,000 to help our neighbors recover from this year’s hurricanes, and we are proud to join with Smithfield and our community partners to make more food available and accessible for those who need it most during these challenging times.”
During the event, Congressman David Rouzer, representative for North Carolina’s Seventh District assisted with the donation and discussed the importance of these combined efforts in the area.
“We are fortunate to have many generous corporate citizens in North Carolina, like Smithfield Foods and Food Lion, who give back to our communities during very difficult times,” says Rouzer. “Hurricane Florence was a life-changing event for many, and I thank both companies for joining forces and donating hundreds of thousands of pounds of protein and produce to those who need it most. Ultimately, the speed and success of our recovery efforts will be determined by private citizens, our businesses and our churches and other charitable organizations pulling together to help everyone who has a need. The Smithfield Foods and Food Lion donation is a prime example of this.”
This is the 48th large-scale protein donation made by Smithfield to food banks across the country during its 2018 Helping Hungry Homes tour. Since the program’s inception in 2008, Smithfield has provided more than 100 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs nationwide.
“With more than 10,000 employees in the state of North Carolina, Smithfield is committed to our communities and caring for the wellbeing of our employees and neighbors in need during this difficult time,” says Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “Hunger is a year-round epidemic that is magnified when natural disaster strikes. With this donation, we hope to alleviate that concern for those affected as they focus on a full recovery.”
For more information about Smithfield Foods’ Helping Hungry Homes initiative and a list of upcoming donation events, visit HelpingHungryHomes.com.
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield, Eckrich, Nathan’s Famous, Farmland, Armour, Farmer John, Kretschmar, John Morrell, Cook’s, Gwaltney, Carando, Margherita, Curly’s, Healthy Ones, Morliny, Krakus and Berlinki. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. Also connect with Smithfield Foods on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for more than 35 years. The Food Bank serves a network of more than 800 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through warehouses in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, the Sandhills (Southern Pines) and Wilmington. In fiscal year 2017-18, the Food Bank distributed nearly 70 million pounds of food (over half of which was perishable) and non-food essentials through these agencies. Sadly, hunger remains a serious problem in central and eastern North Carolina. In these counties, more than 600,000 people struggle to access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for an active and healthy life.
A proud member of Feeding America, Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina serves seven counties: Bladen, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Robeson and Sampson. With a large rural service area, the organization relies on strong partnerships with over 260 churches, food pantries and other nonprofits to distribute food to those in need. In southeast North Carolina, over 18% of people are at risk of hunger. Led by the principles of “Feed — Advocate — Empower,” SHFB is committed to improving access to healthy foods; advocating for those in need; and empowering the community with emergency assistance and education.
Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates. By leveraging its longstanding heritage of low prices and convenient locations, Food Lion is working to own the easiest full shop grocery experience in the Southeast, anchored by a strong commitment to affordability, freshness and the communities it serves. Through Food Lion Feeds, the company has committed to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020. Food Lion is a company of Delhaize America, a U.S. division of Zaandam-based Royal Ahold Delhaize Group.