SMITHFIELD, Va., Sept. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Smithfield Foods is trucking 28,000 pounds of food, the equivalent of 112,000 servings, to Live Oak, Florida, to provide hot meals to communities devastated by Hurricane Idalia.
The food, which includes Smithfield bacon, pork chops, ribs and pork loins, will be delivered to Mercy Chefs, a Portsmouth, Virginia-based nonprofit that deploys to disaster zones across America. Mercy Chefs will serve free, chef-prepared, restaurant-quality hot meals to hurricane victims, volunteers and first responders in western Florida.
Mercy Chefs’ mobile kitchen and smoker will be on site at Suwanee Middle School in Live Oak, Florida, to serve multiple free meals per day to anyone in the community who is in need. The team will also distribute meals up and down the western Florida coast to those unable to make it to the base of operations. To make a donation or find out how to volunteer locally, visit mercychefs.com/idalia.
“The devastation we have already seen from Hurricane Idalia has been tragic, with hundreds of thousands of families impacted by the storm,” said Jonathan Toms, senior community affairs manager for Smithfield Foods. “We are proud to stand with our partners from Mercy Chefs to help these communities, and we hope that our donation of protein and the meals served will provide comfort and relief to the first responders, search and rescue teams, and neighbors affected by this hurricane.”
“As we respond to Hurricane Idalia, we are immensely grateful for our friends at Smithfield Foods,” said Chef Gary LeBlanc, founder and chief executive officer of Mercy Chefs. “We rely on their partnership during disasters like this one, because their support helps us reach even more people in need.”
Since 2008, Smithfield has provided hundreds of millions of servings of protein in all 50 U.S. states, as well as in Poland, Romania and Mexico, through its Helping Hungry Homes hunger relief program. In 2022, the company donated nearly 25 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs across the U.S. To reflect its continued commitment to fighting food insecurity, Smithfield has pledged to donate 200 million servings of protein by 2025.
More information on Smithfield’s ongoing work to strengthen and feed our communities is available here.
About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is a U.S. food company that employs nearly 60,000 people in seven countries and partners with thousands of American farmers. As one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies, we are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” to feed a growing world population. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in our U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30% across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs in all 50 U.S. states. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Gwaltney® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
About Mercy Chefs
Mercy Chefs is a 501c3 nonprofit founded in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The organization exists to provide professionally prepared, restaurant- quality meals to victims, volunteers, and first responders in natural disasters and national emergencies, and we partner with existing ministries with food service in underserved communities around the country. Since Mercy Chefs’ founding in 2006, we have served over twenty million meals in response to over 150 natural disasters in 29 states and 14 countries with the help of over 15,000 volunteers. For more information, visit MercyChefs.com.
SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.