HAMPTON, Va., Nov. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. today donated more than 75,000 pounds of protein to mark the 24th Annual Mayflower Marathon food drive, benefitting the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. This donation will provide the equivalent of more than 300,000 servings of nutritious protein to assist those suffering from food insecurity throughout Hampton Roads.
The Mayflower Marathon is an annual 57-hour consecutive food and fund drive that takes place this year from Nov. 20–22. Community members can contribute directly from their vehicle at four locations across Southeast Virginia in Hampton, Virginia Beach, Yorktown, and Suffolk. All food and monetary donations collected throughout the weekend will benefit Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, who will collect and distribute food quickly to families in need this Thanksgiving.
"We're very grateful to Smithfield Foods for the generous contribution to the Mayflower Marathon food drive," said Karen Joyner, chief executive officer of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. "This donation will play an essential part in our ability to bring hope and nourishment to families across the greater Peninsula who are experiencing food insecurity."
"For years, Smithfield has been an invaluable partner in our fight against food insecurity, and we thank them for joining us again — especially during such a challenging year," added Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols, president and chief executive officer of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. "With Smithfield's help, we are able to provide healthy meals to keep families nourished, thriving and looking ahead to brighter future."
Recognizing a time of increased need for America's food banks during the country's response to COVID-19, Smithfield has prioritized supporting local communities in 2020 via contributions through the company's signature hunger-relief initiative, Helping Hungry Homes®. In September, the company reached a milestone donation of 40 million servings of protein to Feeding America® member food banks across the U.S.
"As a longtime supporter of the Mayflower Marathon food drive, Smithfield is committed to aiding our neighbors across Southeastern Virginia with this contribution," said Jonathan Toms, charitable initiatives manager for Smithfield Foods. "The Thanksgiving holiday will undoubtedly look different for many this year, and we hope this donation of protein benefits those who might be struggling with hunger during these challenging times."
For information about Smithfield's Helping Hungry Homes initiative and a list of upcoming donation events, visit smithfieldfoods.com/helpinghungryhomes.
About Smithfield Foods
Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 40,000 U.S. and 15,000 European employees are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" and have made us one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including many industry firsts, such as our ambitious commitment to cut our carbon impact by 25 percent by 2025. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our neighbors in need. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan's Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
About Virginia Peninsula Foodbank
Since 1986, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank has been providing hunger relief to the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, and the counties of James City, Gloucester, Mathews, Surry, and York. Not only does the Foodbank help our neighbors in need during times of hardship, the Foodbank plays a major role in disaster relief response. With the support of over 200-member agencies and programs, the Foodbank has provided over 178 million meals to families experiencing food insecurity. The Foodbank is a proud member of Feeding America, the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, and the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula. Virginia Peninsula Foodbank has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for 14 consecutive years. Our vision is to inspire hope by leading the effort for a hunger-free and properly nourished community. For more information, visit us online at our www.hrfoodbank.org, Facebook, and on Twitter.
About the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore
For almost 40 years, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore has provided over 350 million meals to those in our community who face hunger. Through our programs, facilities, and large network of community partners, we "eliminate hunger" on a daily basis for many. However, we understand that our current work addresses hunger for individuals in the short term. It does not address the root causes which force individuals to return to a food pantry again and again. This understanding has led to the creation of a 3-year strategic plan aimed to move Hampton Roads closer to achieving the mission of eliminating hunger for those we serve—not only for the day, or for the week, but for a lifetime. For up-to-date information on the Foodbank, visit www.foodbankonline.org, Facebook, or Twitter.