SMITHFIELD, Va., March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Smithfield has announced its 150 th donation under the company's Helping Hungry Homes ® initiative, which has visited more than 108 cities across the United States and provided more than 23,411,280 servings of protein to help end food insecurity.
Smithfield has a long history of stocking food banks, supporting after-school nutrition programs and providing food relief in the wake of natural disasters. Established in 2008, the Helping Hungry Homes program is the company's formal hunger-relief initiative focused on raising the awareness of food insecurity on a national level, and helping to alleviate hunger across the country.
"The face of food insecurity has changed over the last decade," said Dennis Pittman, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for Smithfield. "Previously, households under the poverty line were typically the ones visiting food banks. However, several factors in recent years, such as heightened costs of living, combined with the global economic downturn and higher unemployment, have increased the need for help across the board."Since the program's inception, Smithfield has traveled coast-to-coast to donate more than 5.85 million pounds of protein to food banks across the country that serve their communities through local and emergency food pantries, low-income daycare centers and disaster-relief agencies. Highlights of the Helping Hungry Homes donation tour include participation in the "Lend a Hand Tour" with Al Roker and the TODAY Show; providing protein to disaster-stricken Mineral, Virginia in tandem with the Alan Jackson Benefit Concert; offering more than 1,620,000 servings to those affected by Superstorm Sandy; and making a sizeable protein donation to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Dover, DE. Smithfield has also worked with high-profile personalities, such as celebrity chef Paula Deen and NASCAR legend Richard Petty. Smithfield has engaged a multitude of influencers through the program including celebrity chefs, professional and collegiate athletes, university leaders, political figures, members of the United States Navy and Army, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dr. Jill Biden, and various Mayors and Governors to bring additional attention to the cause and the importance of increasing hunger awareness, community outreach and helping our neighbors. "As a global food company, we understand the benefits of access to proper nutrition on a regular basis. Unfortunately, millions of Americans don't have that access and, as a result, lack the nutritional benefits that many of us take for granted," Pittman explained. "This important donation milestone in our Helping Hungry Homes program represents Smithfield's commitment to what we affectionately refer to as the company's 'Ham Brigade' to increase awareness of food insecurity across the country, debunk common myths about hunger, inspire volunteerism, encourage other corporations to follow suit, and - most importantly - provide much-needed protein to food-insecure homes." For more information about the Smithfield Helping Hungry Homes program, visit: