Smithfield Foods Inc. is donating 80,000 pounds of protein to Food Bank of the Albemarle, Lowcountry Food Bank and Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina to support ongoing recovery effortsin the Carolinas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. The donation, equivalent to more than 320,000 servings, is part of Smithfield’s signature hunger-relief initiative, Helping Hungry Homes, and will support immediate and ongoing recovery needs throughout the food banks’ combined 59-county service area.
“During times of increased need, protein is often difficult to keep stocked and readily available for the clients we serve,” says Pat Walker, president and CEO of Lowcountry Food Bank. “We’re thrilled to have partners like Smithfield support our mission to feed our coastal communities, especially when our area is at its most vulnerable.”
“Food Bank of the Albemarle would like to thank Smithfield Foods for this incredible donation of protein, which is one of the most requested and needed items year-round; especially during a disaster,” says Liz Reasoner, executive director of Food Bank of the Albemarle. “We also want to thank the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina for their support of our Food Bank during this crisis, and for sharing cooler space at their Greenville branch to hold some of the Smithfield donation for us. An estimated 8,000 lbs. of protein will nourish our communities that are suffering and rebuilding at this time, and we could not be more appreciative of all efforts to make this happen.”
“We’re grateful that the counties within our service area were not as badly impacted as we initially feared, and we are able to support the relief efforts in our eastern area, and those of our fellow food banks in the state,” says Carter Crain, director of food partnerships at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. “Food Bank resources get stretched even further when disasters strike, and Smithfield’s generous donation of much-needed protein will help the impacted families immensely during this time of recovery.”
Hurricane Dorian caused power outages for nearly 200,000 homes and business in North and South Carolina, with more than 365,000 Carolinians along the eastern seaboard called to evacuate. Additionally, the storm’s outer bands caused tornadoes in South Carolina and nearly eight inches of rain fell in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Based in Smithfield, Virginia, Smithfield has nearly 11,000 employees across eight facilities and more than 200 company-owned farms throughout the Carolinas.
“Our thoughts remain with those who were most severely impacted, and we are incredibly grateful for all first responders who are working tirelessly to help keep people safe,” says Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “Strengthening the communities that we call home is at the core of our beliefs at Smithfield Foods, and we are proud to stand alongside our neighbors in this region as we work together to recover from this storm.”