Today, all Smithfield Foods processing facilities and farms in North Carolina have returned to normal operations, and while floodwaters reached lagoons on three Smithfield contract farms following the historic flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew, there continues to be no report of lagoon breaches or failures on the company’s company-owned or contract farms as a result of this flooding.
The storm brought flood levels unseen in nearly 500 years, unmatched transportation challenges including a 10-day closure of both Interstate 95 and Interstate 40, and widespread devastation to communities across the eastern half of the state.
Smithfield Foods issued a statement saying, “We are deeply grateful to our more than 10,000 employees across North Carolina who have been affected by this disaster but have remained committed to our operations, customers and consumers. We’ve provided warm meals, transportation, and activated our Employee Assistance Program to assist employees. Smithfield’s EAP provides support to employees and their families during challenging times and includes services such as counseling sessions, legal consultations, family and caregiver assistance as well as other resources.”
“The effects of this storm were severe, and I could not be more proud of our North Carolina employees and their response in the face of adversity,” says Kenneth M. Sullivan, Smithfield’s president and chief executive officer. “I am thankful to be a part of the Smithfield family, and proud that we are able to provide support to the entire area as they begin to pick up the pieces.”
Through Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes hunger-relief initiative, more than 75,000 pounds of protein have been provided to local food banks and will continue to provide additional protein to other affected areas in the coming weeks. Beyond food donations, Smithfield Foods has also pledged to provide $25,000 to the American Red Cross in North Carolina to further support employees and communities during this challenging time and throughout the recovery.