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Smithfield supports Commonwealth Clash with protein donation

Firm joins University of Virginia and Virginia Tech to support Feeding Southwest Virginia and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

November 24, 2023

2 Min Read
Smithfield Foods

This week, Smithfield showed that its sponsorship of the Commonwealth Clash goes beyond just supporting athletics through its donation of much-needed protein to food banks in the communities surrounding Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia. As a part of Smithfield's Helping Hungry Homes initiative, the brand donation provides 65,000 pounds of protein to the local communities supported by Feeding Southwest Virginia and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to aid in hunger relief for the region.

Smithfield representatives presented the donations during two events at each respective food bank, highlighting the importance of center-of-the-plate protein donations for residents of these Virginia communities. The brand also showed appreciation for the staff and volunteers at each food bank by bringing its Bacon Bus to provide lunch.

"These donations, as a part of the Commonwealth Clash, bring these two universities — Virginia Tech and University of Virginia — together in the most meaningful way possible," said Jonathan Toms, senior community development manager for Smithfield Foods. "Supporting Feeding Southwest Virginia and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank impacts these communities greatly, and we thank them for their continuous efforts to provide relief to the residents of our home state."

Since the 2014-2015 academic year, Smithfield has sponsored the Smithfield Commonwealth Clash — the rivalry between Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia across all school-sponsored sports. Throughout the year, the company looks to support the communities surrounding Virginia Tech and UVA.

Feeding Southwest Virginia alone channels over $33 million in food and groceries through 380 partner feeding programs in its 26-county, nine-city region. The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank serves those living with hunger across 25 counties and eight cities on either side of the Blue Ridge. With the help of more than 400 programs and pantry partners, it provides nutritious food to well over 125,000 people each month. But protein continues to be one of the biggest needs for local food banks because of costs and limited resources.

"Receiving this donation from Smithfield brings unsurmountable support in alleviating hunger for Southwest Virginia," said Pamela Irvine, president and CEO for Feeding Southwest Virginia. "We are thankful for the partnership with the high demand for food assistance in our area."

"Smithfield has our gratitude for this generous donation," said Michael McKee, CEO of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. "This will provide much-needed center-of-the-plate protein to the residents of our community and continue to provide hope to our neighbors."

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