Smithfield Foods’ Helping Hungry Homes® Donates 80,000 Pounds of Protein to North Carolina Food Banks, Raises Awareness of Hunger at Statewide Festival

SMITHFIELD, Va., Sept. 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This week, Smithfield FoodsHelping Hungry Homes® initiative, a program focused on alleviating hunger across the country, donated 80,000 pounds of protein to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina. The series of donation events took place Wednesday, Sept. 21, and Thursday, Sept. 22, during National Hunger Action Month.

Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief for Smithfield Foods, and Beth Gaglione, Wilmington branch manager for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, are joined by Smithfield employees and food bank volunteers to unload one of four protein donations in North Carolina provided by Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes hunger-relief initiative during National Hunger Action Month.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

“We serve more than 50 million meals to members of our community living in food insecure homes,” said Peter Werbicki, president and CEO of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. “We are very thankful for Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes® donation of wholesome protein, which provided support for our neighbors who are facing hunger.”

Additionally, Smithfield facilities located in North Carolina hosted employee food drives. Thousands of local Smithfield employees participated by donating more than 10,000 pounds of canned goods and non-perishable food items, which they delivered to each donation stop.

“We value Smithfield as an active partner in our fight to end hunger and food insecurity across our state,” said Ron Pringle, director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina. “This donation will provide thousands of meals to our neighbors during the coming weeks.”

Smithfield continued to raise awareness of hunger and collected an additional 5,000 pounds of non-perishable food items at the 2016 North Carolina Muscadine Harvest Festival, which celebrated the state fruit. The festival took place Friday, Sept. 23, and Saturday, Sept. 24, in Kenansville.

“Smithfield Foods has called North Carolina home for decades, and we’re proud to support our community,” said Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief for Smithfield Foods. “This means helping families living in North Carolina become more food secure. It means doing what we can to alleviate hunger and raising awareness of this issue. We’re proud to do both while celebrating our state’s heritage at the Muscadine Festival.”

Helping Hungry Homes®, now in its eighth year, will help fight hunger this year through more than 30 large-scale protein donations to food banks across the United States. To date, Helping Hungry Homes® has provided more than 65 million servings of protein to food banks across America. For more information about Helping Hungry Homes®, visit

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $14 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, Nathan's Famous, Farmland, Armour, John Morrell, Cook's, Kretschmar, Gwaltney, Curly's, Margherita, Carando, Healthy Ones, Krakus, Morliny and Berlinki. 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

About Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina
The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for more than 30 years. The Food Bank serves a network of more than 800 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through warehouses in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, the Sandhills (Southern Pines), and Wilmington. In fiscal year 2015-2016, the Food Bank distributed more than 64.4 million pounds of food (60 percent of which was perishable) and non-food essentials through these agencies. Sadly, hunger remains a serious problem in central and eastern North Carolina. In these counties, more than 600,000 people struggle to access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for an active and healthy life.

About Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina
Second Harvest Food Bank distributed food to 196,700 individuals during 2015 through 260 member agencies in 7 counties. SHFB provides special programs for groups at greatest risk of hunger; for example, some 14,200 seniors received meals in addition to the more than 65,500 meals for children in the BackPack Program. SHFB also operates a mobile pantry program delivering food to rural communities where it is most needed. SHFB is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s leading network of food banks committed to hunger relief in America. Through SHFB and other organizations in its network, Feeding America distributes food to more than 37 million low-income families each year. SHFB is a program of the Action Pathways, Inc. Action Pathways is a private human services agency offering a comprehensive, supportive approach to helping families and individuals achieve and sustain economic security. Established in 1965, AP has become a respected agency among the top-tier of the national network of community action programs whose purpose is to address poverty in America. AP has a direct presence in some 34 counties throughout southeastern North Carolina. AP is the parent organization for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina (SHFB); the Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS); the Comprehensive Housing and Weatherization Programs; Self-Sufficiency Programs (ASPIRE); and Head Start. Action Pathways is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. For more information about Action Pathways programs and services, visit or call (910) 485-6131.

Media Contacts: Dalton Agency for Smithfield Heather Houston (386) 216-9472 Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina Jackie Godbold (910) 485-6131 ext: 1606 Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina Jessica Whichard (919) 865-3050

Source:Smithfield Foods