Smithfield Foods Inc. has donated more than 11,000 pounds of pork loins to Operation BBQ Relief as part of ongoing recovery efforts in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Laura. The 11,000 pound donation, equivalent to more than 30,000 servings, is part of Smithfield's signature hunger-relief initiative, Helping Hungry Homes.
"We are grateful for Smithfield's support in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura," says Dewayne Daniel, director of Disaster and Field Training, Operation BBQ Relief. "Operation BBQ Relief has provided over 400,000 meals during the past month. We could not do it without the support of Smithfield and the entire pork industry."
Smithfield's donation allowed Operation BBQ Relief to provide pork loin sandwiches to those who have been displaced by the storm as well as local volunteers, police, fire and emergency personnel. Hurricane Laura left more than 540,000 Louisiana residents without power and 220,000 without water.
"Our Smithfield Family is proud to support Louisianans impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Laura," says Jonathan Toms, charitable initiatives manager at Smithfield Foods. "Operation BBQ Relief played an instrument role in our efforts to provide a necessary resource during a great time of need."
Smithfield Foods is committed to supporting those impacted by natural disasters and continues to work with disaster-relief partners on the Pacific Coast and in Alabama to identify opportunities to help those affected by the wildfires and hurricanes.
Operation BBQ Relief is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports communities following natural disasters with hot barbeque meals to those in need and on the front lines. After the devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo., in May 2011, competitive pit masters from eight different states answered the call to feed displaced families and first responders and served over 120,000 meals over 13 days. This experience was the catalyst that started what Operation BBQ Relief is today. With the help of more than 14,000 volunteers, Operation BBQ Relief has provided over 8 million meals throughout the United States. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has provided over 4 million meals to first responders, medical workers, veterans, families and organizations affected by the pandemic.