Pay-what-you-can mobile markets address food insecurity in North Carolina.

February 27, 2024

2 Min Read
Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods has donated $100,000 to fund a mobile food retail market that will provide fresh food in food deserts throughout southeastern North Carolina.

The donation to Ripe for Revival, a nonprofit founded to address food insecurity in North Carolina, was used to purchase a bus that has been transformed into a mobile food market. The bus will offer fresh, local, healthy food to the public, including many families experiencing food insecurity, at pay-what-you-can prices. Smithfield's donation brings Ripe for Revival's fleet up to a total of five buses.

"Having access to affordable food is a significant issue in rural communities," said Steve Evans, vice president of community development for Smithfield Foods. "We are focused on improving food access, and we're building capacity to fill the need. This innovative partnership with Ripe for Revival will meet our neighbors where they are and provide fresh food everyone can afford."

"We are beyond thankful to Smithfield Foods for helping us revive communities through food," said Will Kornegay, founder and CEO of Ripe Revival. "This generous donation not only has grown our fleet of pay-what-you-can mobile markets, but also is helping us expand our reach. We have great plans for 2024 to serve more North Carolina families facing food insecurity, and Smithfield Foods is helping us achieve that goal."

Ripe for Revival's mobile markets currently sell local produce, meat and dairy at up to a dozen sites per week in Beaufort, Edgecombe, Halifax, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt and Wake counties. In addition to funding the purchase of the mobile market bus, Smithfield's donation will provide operational support to expand Ripe for Revival's mobile market service area to Sampson County.

Will Kornegay started Ripe Revival in 2018 to help farmers find markets for the imperfect produce they could not sell to grocery stores. In 2021, he launched Ripe for Revival, the nonprofit arm of Ripe Revival, to operate a fleet of pay-what-you-can mobile markets to address food insecurity in North Carolina. Over the past few years, Ripe Revival has played a role in serving thousands of families and hundreds of nonprofits by helping to distribute more than 4 million pounds of produce to fight food insecurity. Since June 2022, the mobile market buses have distributed more than 40,000 pounds of produce.

Smithfield's hunger relief program, Helping Hungry Homes, has provided hundreds of millions of servings of protein all 50 U.S. states, as well as in Poland, Romania and Mexico, since 2008. Smithfield donated nearly 25 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs across the U.S. in 2022 and has pledged to donate 200 million servings of protein by 2025.

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