Smithfield and Houston football star Cecil Shorts III donated more than 70,000 pounds of protein to the Houston Food Bank on June 28, as part of Smithfield’s 14th stop on the nationwide Helping Hungry Homes tour. Smithfield partnered with Kroger to make this considerable contribution of more than 280,000 servings of protein. The donation will help serve the local Houston community after recent floods as well as the larger southeast Texas community where one in five people suffers from hunger.
The Houston Texans wide receiver joined representatives from Smithfield and Kroger to present the donation to the Houston Food Bank, discussing the importance of donations like this in southeast Texas and raising awareness about the necessity of providing assistance to our neighbors in need.
“I’m excited and honored to partner with Smithfield and its Helping Hungry Homes initiative to make this donation of 70,000 pounds of protein to the Houston Food Bank,” said Shorts. “This community has been so supportive of my team and of my football career personally, so it was important for me to take this opportunity to give back and help provide the more than 280,000 servings to assist in alleviating hunger in the Houston area.”
“We are proud to partner with Cecil and Kroger today to provide the Houston Food Bank with this donation through our Helping Hungry Homes program,” said Dennis Pittman, Smithfield senior director of corporate communications and public affairs. “As a food company, it’s our responsibility to help our neighbors in need. Through this donation, we are proud to provide wholesome protein to families and individuals in the Southeast Texas area.”
Helping Hungry Homes, now in its eighth year, is Smithfield’s coast-to-coast program to help Americans become more food secure. This year, as part of an effort to raise awareness about the necessity of providing assistance to individuals and families in need, the program will help fight hunger through more than 30 large-scale protein donations to food banks across the U.S. totaling more than 3.5 million servings. To date, Helping Hungry Homes has provided more than 38 million servings of protein to food banks across America.
“Protein is an essential element for good nutrition, but sadly, fresh meat is often out of reach for families who have trouble buying groceries,” said Brian Greene, president and CEO of the Houston Food Bank. “In the 18 southeast Texas counties served by the Houston Food Bank, 78 percent of our clients tell us they routinely cope with food insecurity by purchasing cheap, non-nutritious food. So we’re especially grateful for the generous donation of protein-packed product from Smithfield. We are eager to share it with food pantries throughout our network, where it can be distributed to make delicious, healthy meals.”
“Kroger is proud to partner with a vendor like Smithfield that is committed to helping the communities where we work and live,” said Joy Partain, Kroger public affairs manager. “This donation to the Houston Food Bank comes at a perfect time, given hurricane season is starting. The food bank’s reserves are low after providing food for victims of the recent floods, so this will help replenish their stock and ensure that those in need won’t go hungry this summer.”