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Photo Release -- Smithfield and Kroger Donate 26,000 Pounds of Protein to Two Kentucky Food Banks to Celebrate the Grand Opening of the Largest Kroger Store in the State

VERSAILLES, Ky., July 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield and Kroger partnered to help feed families in Kentucky by donating 26,000 pounds of protein to God's Pantry Food Bank and Dare to Care Food Bank. This donation was in celebration of the grand opening of the new Kroger store in Versailles, which will be the largest of its kind in the state.



Randy Willian of Empire Foods, Diana Souder, PR & Events Manager for Smithfield, Chuck Osbourn, Store Manager for Kroger, Danielle Bozarth, Program Director for God's Pantry Food Bank, Steve Feldman, Director of Product Sourcing for Dare to Care Food Bank and Mike Porter of Empire Foods gathered at the new Kroger Versailles Store Grand Opening this morning to present a donation of 26,000 pounds of protein to help alleviate hunger in the northern Kentucky community.


A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=34541

Representatives from Smithfield and Kroger presented the donation during the Grand Opening event on Thursday, July 16 at the new Kroger store located at 212 Kroger Way, Versailles, Ky.

"We truly appreciate Smithfield and Kroger for their long-time commitment to ending hunger," said Marian F. Guinn, CEO of God's Pantry Food Bank. "A donation of this size will go a long way in helping us provide thousands of meals for those in our community who might otherwise go hungry, or without any protein in their meals, which is an essential part of well-rounded nutrition. We look forward to welcoming this new Kroger store to our community and to continuing our relationship with an outstanding partner and corporate citizen."

"Kroger is committed to helping our communities grow and prosper. In fact, in 2014 Forbes listed Kroger as one of 'America's Most Generous Companies.' Year after year, local schools, churches, and other nonprofit organizations will earn millions of dollars through Kroger Community Rewards®," said Tim McGurk, Public Affairs Manager for Kroger's Mid-South Division. "We are delighted to have partners like Smithfield who share the same values. This donation from the Smithfield Helping Hungry Homes program will provide much-needed protein to the local community here where our customers and employees work and live."

"Smithfield has made more than 210 donations across the country under the company's Helping Hungry Homes program. Through this donation, we will provide more than 100,000 servings of protein to Kentucky families," said Dennis Pittman, Smithfield Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. "We're proud to partner with Kroger to celebrate the momentous opening of their new Versailles store, and work together to help alleviate hunger in Kentucky."

Smithfield Foods has a long history of stocking food banks, supporting after-school nutrition programs and providing food relief in the wake of natural disasters. In January 2008, Smithfield established their Helping Hungry Homes initiatives to help ensure that American families in need do not go hungry.

About God's Pantry Food Bank

The mission of God's Pantry Food Bank is to reduce hunger in Kentucky through community cooperation making the best possible use of all available resources. Along with our network of nearly 400 member agencies the Food Bank serves 50 counties of Central and Eastern Kentucky distributing $100 worth of food for every $10 donated. Last year, God's Pantry Food Bank and its member agencies distributed more than 26 million pounds of groceries to more than 190,000 individuals, including 8.2 million pounds of fresh produce. God's Pantry Food Bank is a member of Feeding America. Through community partnerships and distribution of food to 50,000 agencies, Feeding America collectively works to assure that people in need have access to a balanced diet. For more information visit us at www.godspantryfoodbank.org or www.feedingamerica.org.

About Dare to Care Food Bank

Dare to Care Food Bank is a local nonprofit agency with a mission to lead the community to feed the hungry and conquer the cycle of need. In the past twelve months, Dare to Care distributed over 19 million pounds of food to eight Kentucky and five Indiana counties. Dare to Care, through its Community Kitchen, serves 28 Kids Cafes in neighborhood afterschool locations and operates Backpack Buddy weekend nutrition programs in 38 Kentuckiana elementary schools. For more information, visit www.daretocare.org.

About Kroger

Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs more than 375,000 associates who serve customers in 2,631 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 783 convenience stores, 325 fine jewelry stores, 1,293 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners. For more information please visit kroger.com. Kroger's Louisville Division operates 98 stores in Kentucky, southern Indiana and southern Illinois.

About Smithfield

A leading provider of high-quality pork products, Smithfield was founded in 1936 in Smithfield, Virginia, establishing the town as the "Ham Capital of the World." From hand-trimmed bacon to slow-smoked holiday hams, Smithfield brings artistry, authenticity and a commitment to heritage, flavor, and handcrafted excellence to everything it produces. With a vast product portfolio including smoked meats, hams, bacon, sausage, and fresh pork cuts, the company services retail, foodservice, and deli channels across the Unites States and 30 countries abroad. All of Smithfield's products meet the highest quality and safety standards in the industry. To learn more about how Flavor Hails from Smithfield, please visit www.Smithfield.com, www.Twitter.com/SmithfieldBrand, and www.Facebook.com/CookingWithSmithfield. Smithfield is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook's®, John Morrell®, Gwaltney®, Nathan's Famous®, Kretschmar®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Carando® and Healthy Ones®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

CONTACT: Media Contacts: Hunter PR for Smithfield Melody Snellgrove Palatucci (407) 493-4725 msnellgrove@hunterpr.com Smithfield Diana Souder (757) 990-0051 dianasouder@smithfield.com Kroger Tim McGurk (502) 423-4854 tim.mcgurk@kroger.com God's Pantry Food Bank Rebecca Price (859) 255-5324 rebeccaprice@godspantry.org Dare to Care Food Bank Stan Siegwald (502) 736-9494 stan@daretocare.org

Source:Smithfield Foods, Inc.