Smithfield donates 35,000 pounds of food to Kentucky disaster relief

Company partnered with Mercy Chefs to provide restaurant-quality meals for winter disaster victims, volunteers and first responders.

January 18, 2023

2 Min Read
Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Smithfield Foods, Inc. has donated 35,000 pounds of food, equal to 140,000 servings, to help feed victims of the severe winter weather that recently engulfed Eastern Kentucky.

The food products were delivered to Mercy Chefs, which is currently stationed in Hazel Green, Kentucky, to provide disaster relief for local residents. The Portsmouth, Virginia-based nonprofit travels to disaster zones across the United States to serve free chef-prepared, restaurant-quality hot meals to local residents, volunteers and first responders. Smithfield products donated to this relief effort include lunch meat, bacon, fully cooked boneless ham, hickory smoked ham and smoked spiral sliced ham.

"The extreme winter weather in Eastern Kentucky left many residents with frozen pipes and entire towns without potable water," said Jonathan Toms, senior community development manager for Smithfield Foods. "We are grateful for our partnership with Mercy Chefs, which enables us to provide delicious, hot meals to help families get through this dire situation and get back on their feet."

Chef Gary LeBlanc, founder and CEO of Mercy Chefs, said, "Whenever and wherever we find people facing great need, Smithfield Foods is always there to stand with us as we set out to provide high-quality, chef-prepared meals in disaster zones across the country."

Mercy Chefs expects to cook 2,000-3,000 hot meals per day for residents in the area.

Smithfield has donated hundreds of millions of protein servings to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs in all 50 U.S. states since 2008 through its Helping Hungry Homes program, and has pledged to donate an additional 200 million servings of protein by 2025.

The company recently donated 30,000 pounds of food, or 120,000 servings, to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore in December 2022, delivered 150,000 food servings to victims of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida, last October, and contributed $2 million to Ukraine crisis relief efforts in March. Smithfield donated over 5 million pounds of protein, or 20 million servings, in 2022.

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