March 15, 2021

 

Smithfield donates nearly US$70 million in 2020

 

 

Smithfield Foods, Inc. has reported that 2020 marks the company's largest  charitable giving in a year since its founding in 1936.

 

Last year, Smithfield contributed more than US$69 million, including more than US$62 million in in-kind and nearly US$7 million in cash donations, to fight hunger and help communities where Smithfield employees live and work.

 

The milestone year of record-giving reflects unique emergency response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to increased need, Smithfield expanded donations through Helping Hungry Homes, the company's signature hunger-relief initiative which partners with Feeding America and its network of food banks across the United States to alleviate hunger year-round. Donations of nourishing protein products and cash to Feeding America amounted to over 68 million food servings and accounted for more than US$62 million of the company's total 2020 giving.

 

"As Smithfield continues to work overtime to safely maintain America's food supply amid a pandemic, our company has been fortunate to be in a position to not only continue our philanthropic giving, but to significantly increase our efforts to help our local communities endure extraordinarily difficult times," said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer of Smithfield Foods.

 

Smithfield's ongoing charitable initiatives programme contributes millions of dollars in cash and in-kind donations each year. Given the unexpected circumstances of 2020, Smithfield's total philanthropic giving figure amounts to several times the company's historic and projected annual contributions.

 

To increase support for Feeding America and the millions of people facing hunger as a result of the pandemic, Smithfield announced in April its largest donation commitment in company history: 10 million pounds of protein to food banks across the US, the equivalent of 40 million food servings. The commitment, a more than US$30 million value, was fulfilled by the end of September.

 

"Even before COVID-19, hunger impacted every community in our country. Unfortunately, the pandemic has been increasingly burdensome for our neighbors who live paycheck to paycheck," said Blake Thompson, chief supply chain officer of Feeding America. "We are thankful for Smithfield's generous donations – in times of both calm and crisis – that help our network of food banks provide meals to communities in need."

 

Since 2008, Smithfield's signature Helping Hungry Homes initiative has provided more than 212 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programmes in all 50 states. In March 2020, Smithfield launched the "Good Food Challenge", a COVID-19 response fund and public call-to-action to raise awareness of Feeding America's ongoing crisis-relief efforts.

 

In another COVID-19 emergency response effort, Smithfield donated personal protective equipment (PPE) last June, including 115,000 face shields valued at nearly US$700,000, to frontline healthcare workers in nursing homes and hospitals across the nation fighting the pandemic and hand sanitiser, sanitising wipes and face shields to more than 10,000 students in North Carolina.

 

In fall 2020, Smithfield pledged US$5 million in grants and scholarships to reinforce its corporate commitments to education and diversity, equity and inclusion.

 

To complement its outreach initiatives, Smithfield expanded its long-time scholarship programme, committing more than US$1 million in educational scholarships to children and grandchildren of US employees. The programme, which presently includes several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), will be expanded to include additional HBCUs to further support Smithfield's diversity and inclusion efforts.

 

- PRNewswire