This week, Smithfield Foods' Helping Hungry Homes® initiative, a program focused on alleviating hunger and raising awareness of food insecurity across the country, joined forces with Winn-Dixie and Aric Almirola with Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) to donate 60,000 pounds of protein to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. This donation, totaling more than 240,000 servings of protein, will help the nearly 500,000 people struggle with hunger every day in Central Florida.
"Protein is not always a readily available resource for our food bank or those we serve," said Greg Higgerson, vice president of development for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. "This generous donation from Smithfield, Richard Petty and Winn-Dixie makes that resource a guarantee in the coming weeks for families in need throughout our area."
Smithfield and Winn-Dixie delivered 30,000 pounds of protein to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida's Orlando branch on Tuesday. Today, Aric Almirola with RPM joined Smithfield and Winn-Dixie to deliver an additional 30,000 pounds to the food bank's Daytona Beach location. At both events, each organization's representatives discussed the impact of food insecurity in Central Florida, where one in six people struggle with hunger.
"We have a long-standing relationship with Smithfield and share a true passion for helping those in need throughout the communities we serve," said Eddie Garcia, regional vice president for Winn-Dixie. "This donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is yet another way we deliver on this mission, and we are proud of the positive impact made on our Central Florida neighbors."
The donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida was part of Helping Hungry Homes® 2017 donation tour where Smithfield will provide large-scale protein donations to nearly 50 food banks across the country. At today's event, Aric Almirola, a Florida-native who has partnered with Smithfield in recent years to donate thousands of pounds of protein, helped present the donation.
"We are honored to participate in Smithfield and Winn-Dixie's donation leading into the race weekend here in Daytona Beach," said Aric Almirola. "I'm humbled to partner with Smithfield and Winn-Dixie yet again to give back to this community-a state that I have called home most of my life and community that has become part of my family during my racing career."
To date, Helping Hungry Homes® has provided more than 49 million servings of protein to food banks across America.
"As a global food company, we value our role to provide high-quality protein to our communities in need," said Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief for Smithfield Foods. "We are proud to stand with Winn-Dixie and provide Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida with a donation that will provide nutritional support to families across the 16 counties the food bank serves."
Following this week's events, Helping Hungry Homes® will make its way to Las Vegas, Nevada on March 9. The donation tour will then host donation events in Austin on March 21 and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on March 23. For more information about Helping Hungry Homes® and a list of upcoming donation events, visit helpinghungryhomes.com.