With one in seven people from Utah facing food insecurity, the 2019 college football season culminated with a donation on Feb. 7 of more than 40,000 pounds of protein by Smithfield Foods Inc. and the Utah Pork Producers Association to Utah Food Bank in partnership with Utah State University, Brigham Young University and the Fredette Family Foundation.
The donation, equivalent to more than 160,000 servings of protein, was made possible through a special program that turned each point the Aggies and Cougars scored into a donation of 25 pounds of pork by Smithfield and the UPPA to help fight hunger in local communities. The teams finished the season with a total of 675 points, or 16,875 pounds of pork, which Smithfield more than doubled for a total donation of 40,000 pounds.
"It's truly inspiring to see student athletes uniting to give back to the communities they're a part of," says Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. "On behalf of Smithfield Foods and the entire Utah pork industry, we are honored to work with organizations that share the similar mission of helping Americans become more food secure, especially here in a community we call home."
Players from both teams volunteered at Utah Food bank, but instead of forming an offensive or defensive line, they came together and formed a food line to help unload the pork-filled truck and stock the food bank's shelves.
"We are beyond grateful for this donation and the difference it will make in our community," says Ginette Bott, president and CEO of Utah Food Bank. "Thousands of men, women and children look to us to provide food for their next meal and this donation helps make that possible."
This event comes a week after two other major donations in Florida and Arkansas as part of Smithfield's Helping Hungry Homes tour, the company's signature hunger-relief initiative. In the past two weeks alone, Smithfield has donated more than 110,000 pounds of protein to communities in need and will continue its efforts to fight hunger by providing donations to dozens of communities across America throughout the year. Since the inception of their Helping Hungry Homes program, Smithfield has donated more than 145 million servings of protein to food-insecure residents in all 50 states around the United States
"Coming together as a community plays a crucial role in our efforts to strengthen families," says J. Blair Giles, president and CEO of the Fredette Family Foundation. "We are so glad to work with Smithfield and other likeminded organizations to impact people's lives in meaningful and personal ways and are proud of the student-athletes who have given so much to bring this initiative to life."