SMITHFIELD, Va. (WFXR) — Monday, Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced it would donate the equivalent of over 40 million protein servings to food banks across the country to assist those in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Totaling around $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions, this will be the largest donation in the company’s history. The gift is a part of Smithfield’s recently launched “Good Food Challenge” to raise awareness and increase support for Feeding America during the current health crisis.
“The challenges our country is facing are unprecedented, and food banks across America are feeling the strain as food insecurity reaches new heights. Helping ensure the wellbeing of our neighbors in need is of the utmost importance now more than ever. To help meet this immense need, Smithfield is making our largest donation ever in hunger-relief support and deploying hundreds of truckloads of protein to communities throughout the country in response to COVID-19.”Keira Lombardo, executive vice president, corporate affairs and compliance for Smithfield Foods
Smithfield has donated nearly 200 million servings of protein to food banks, school nutrition programs, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs as a part of their Helping Hungry Homes® hunger-relief initiative.
The company announced Sunday that it is closing its pork processing plant in Sioux Falls until further notice after hundreds of employees tested positive for the coronavirus — a step the head of the company warned could hurt the nation’s meat supply.
The announcement came a day after South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken wrote to Smithfield and urged the company to suspend operations for 14 days so that its workers could self-isolate and the plant could be disinfected.
The plant, which employs about 3,700 people in the state’s largest city, has become a hot spot for infections. Health officials said Sunday that 293 of the 730 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in South Dakota work at the plant.
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