PHOENIX, Feb 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) -- With nearly a third of Arizona residents living in poverty and facing food insecurity, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is partnering with Bashas' Family of Stores to donate more than 40,000 pounds of protein to St. Mary's Food Bank. The tractor-trailer load of nutritious, center-of-the-plate protein is enough to feed 160,000 Arizonians in need as Smithfield continues their 2020 Helping Hungry Homes tour.
"At Smithfield Foods, we recognize protein is often a staple missing from the tables of those struggling with food insecurity and we are committed to helping our neighbors in need by providing access to this high-quality product in the communities we serve," said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. "We are proud to partner with organizations such as St. Mary's Food Bank and Bashas' Family of Stores to work to fight hunger right here in Arizona."
Helping Hungry Homes is Smithfield's signature hunger-relief initiative focused on alleviating hunger and helping Americans become more food secure. Since the creation of the program, Smithfield has donated over 145 million servings of nutritious, high-quality protein to food banks, school nutrition programs, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs across all 50 states.
"Poverty is a serious issue in Arizona, affecting more than 2 million people who lack consistent access to adequate food," said Jerry Brown, Director of Media Relations for St. Mary's Food Bank. "Smithfield's donation will provide necessary relief for families in our community. We are thrilled to be able to offer protein to our clients, which is essential to fueling their nutrition throughout the day."
Smithfield and Bashas' presented the donation to St. Mary's Food Bank during an event in Phoenix this morning. Over the course of the year, Smithfield Foods will provide dozens of additional donations to communities across the country.
"Addressing food insecurity across our state is a critical need. In partnership with Smithfield, we are facing this head on and ensuring every family in Arizona has access to a healthy, well-balanced and delicious meal," said Ashley Shick, Director of Communications and Public Affairs of Bashas' Family of Stores. "We are especially grateful to work alongside likeminded organizations to work toward our common goal of ending hunger."
About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
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. 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 Bashas' Family of Stores
Bashas' Family of Stores - the family-owned grocer that operates Food City, AJ's Fine Foods, Eddie's Country Store, and both Bashas' and Bashas' Dine supermarkets - is an Arizona-based company founded by brothers Ike and Eddie Bashas, Sr. With more than 100 grocery stores, it is one of the largest employers in the state and one of the Best Places to Work in Arizona. Since the company's inception in 1932, Bashas' has given back more than $100 million to the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.bashas.com .
About St. Mary's Food Bank
Celebrating its 52 year as the world's FIRST Food Bank, St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to 745 partner agencies at more than 1,000 locations in Arizona that serve the hungry. Serving nine of Arizona's 15 counties, the organization is a member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks, and is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships, and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. In Fiscal Year 2018-19, the Food Bank distributed more than 97 million pounds of food to Arizona families and children and garnered more than 225,000 volunteer service hours. Web site: wwwStMarysFoodBank.org Phone: 602-242-FOOD.
MWWPR for Smithfield Foods Bashas' Family of Stores St. Mary's Food Bank Leah Weightman Ashley Shick Jerry Brown 202.415.5737 480.201.2030 602.684.0939 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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