Smithfield Foods Donates 35,000 Pounds of Food to Support Winter Disaster Relief in Kentucky

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Company partnering with Mercy Chefs to provide restaurant-quality meals for disaster victims, volunteers and first responders

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is has donated 35,000 pounds of food, equal to 140,000 servings, to help feed victims of the severe winter weather that recently engulfed Eastern Kentucky.

Smithfield delivered the food products to Mercy Chefs, which is currently stationed in Hazel Green, Kentucky, to provide disaster relief for local residents. The Portsmouth, Virginia-based nonprofit travels to disaster zones across the U.S. to serve free chef-prepared, restaurant-quality hot meals to local residents, volunteers and first responders. Smithfield products donated to this relief effort include lunch meat, bacon, fully cooked boneless ham, hickory smoked ham and smoked spiral sliced ham.

“The extreme winter weather in Eastern Kentucky left many residents with frozen pipes and entire towns without potable water,” said Jonathan Toms, senior community development manager for Smithfield Foods. “We are grateful for our partnership with Mercy Chefs, which enables us to provide delicious, hot meals to help families get through this dire situation and get back on their feet.”

Chef Gary LeBlanc, founder and CEO of Mercy Chefs, said, “Whenever and wherever we find people facing great need, Smithfield Foods is always there to stand with us as we set out to provide high-quality, chef-prepared meals in disaster zones across the country.”

Mercy Chefs expects to cook 2,000-3,000 hot meals per day for residents in the area. To make a donation or find out how to volunteer locally, visit MercyChefs.com/easternky.

Smithfield has donated hundreds of millions of protein servings to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs in all 50 U.S. states since 2008 through its Helping Hungry Homes® program, and has pledged to donate an additional 200 million servings of protein by 2025.

The company recently donated 30,000 pounds of food, or 120,000 servings, to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore in December 2022, delivered 150,000 food servings to victims of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida, last October, and contributed $2 million to Ukraine crisis relief efforts in March. Smithfield donated over 5 million pounds of protein, or 20 million servings, in 2022.

More information about Smithfield’s ongoing work to strengthen our communities and fight food insecurity is available here.