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Smithfield Foods Donates More Than 40,000 Pounds of Protein to the Harvest Hope Food Bank With NASCAR Driver Aric Almirola

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FLORENCE, S.C., Aug. 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and KJ's Market and IGA stores joined forces to donate more than 40,000 pounds of protein to the Harvest Hope Food Bank in celebration of the Bojangles' Southern 500 at the Darlington Raceway. Assisting with the donation was Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Smithfield Foods Helping Hungry Homes - Florence, SC
Smithfield Foods, Stewart-Haas Racing, and KJ's Market and IGA Stores Celebrate the Bojangles Sounthern 500 Race with a 40,000 Pound Protein Donation to Harvest Hope Food Bank to Fight Hunger in Florence, South Carolina and Beyond



Helping Hungry Homes
Helping Hungry Homes



Smithfield's contribution was part of the company's 2018 Helping Hungry Homes® donation tour. Now in the program's 10th year, Helping Hungry Homes® is Smithfield's signature hunger-relief initiative focused on alleviating hunger and helping Americans become more food secure. The donation, equivalent to more than 160,000 servings, will help families fight hunger in South Carolina.

"At Harvest Hope, our name sets the tone in what we aim to accomplish for those in need—providing hope for the hungry by gathering and sharing quality food with dignity, compassion and education," said Keith Ferrell, interim CEO and chief operating officer of the Harvest Hope Food Bank. "Smithfield's donation of nutrient-rich protein serves our community members with a high-quality product, something not typically available to many in need but most appreciated when provided."

Smithfield Foods, Stewart-Haas Racing, KJ's Market and IGA stores presented the donation to the Harvest Hope Food Bank at an event at the food bank this morning. Members of each organization discussed food insecurity in the local community and the significance of this donation, which will provide protein throughout the food bank's service area, reaching food insecure individuals across 20 counties. 

"Our local support is best defined by our company's longtime history of community involvement and dedication to fighting hunger in areas we serve," said Bill Harrell, Meat Department director for KJ's Market and IGA stores. "We are honored to work with Smithfield and are proud to take part in this donation that will benefit our neighbors in need."

As a longtime supporter of Smithfield's Helping Hungry Homes® initiative, NASCAR driver Aric Almirola also attended the donation event where he shared his passion for the company's hunger-relief initiatives. Almirola's No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion will feature a special Helping Hungry Homes® paint scheme celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the company's signature hunger-relief program during the NASCAR Throwback Weekend and the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 2.

"On behalf of the entire Stewart-Haas Racing team, we are honored to once again join Smithfield on the road to help end hunger for our neighbors in need," said Almirola. "I've been privileged to join Smithfield for many donations like this one over the last several years, and am especially proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Helping Hungry Homes on our No. 10 car this weekend at Darlington!"

This is the 43rd large scale protein donation made by Smithfield to food banks across the country during its 2018 Helping Hungry Homes® tour. Since the program's inception in 2008, Smithfield has provided more than 100 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts, and community outreach programs nationwide.

"At Smithfield, we believe helping to feed the hungry is simply the right thing to do, and we value the opportunity to provide access to healthy, nutritious food for families in need," said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. "We are thrilled to have partners like KJ's Market and Stewart-Haas Racing join us to support Harvest Hope Food Bank with this donation." 

For more information about Smithfield Foods' Helping Hungry Homes® initiative and a list of upcoming donation events, visit helpinghungryhomes.com.

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®, Nathan's Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus® 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 www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Harvest Hope Food Bank
Harvest Hope Food Bank is a non-profit organization serving people in need in 20 counties across South Carolina. Harvest Hope distributed more than 28 million pounds of food last year and fed approximately 38,000 people a week. Harvest Hope operates out of locations in Columbia, Florence, Greenville and Cayce, SC. For more information visit harvesthope.org.

About W. Lee Flowers 
W. Lee Flowers is based in Lake City, SC and owns and operates 44 IGA and KJ's Market grocery stores in North and South Carolina and Georgia.  It ranks as one of the largest South Carolina headquartered grocery retailers and is the only retailer based in Florence County.

About Stewart-Haas Racing:
Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation — the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The organization fields four entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series — the No. 4 Ford Fusion for Kevin Harvick, the No. 10 Ford Fusion for Aric Almirola, the No. 14 Ford Fusion for Clint Bowyer and the No. 41 Ford Fusion for Kurt Busch. The team also competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series by fielding a full-time entry — the No. 00 Ford Mustang for Cole Custer — and one part-time entry — the No. 98 Ford Mustang. Based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 200,000-square-foot facility with nearly 370 employees. For more information, please visit us online at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing, on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng and on Instagram @StewartHaasRacing.

Media Contacts:

Dalton Agency for Smithfield
Jana Beasley
(904) 534-8568
jbeasley@daltonagency.com
                                        Harvest Hope Food Bank
Shari Waters
(803) 466-2250
swaters@harvesthope.org 
     
W. Lee Flowers
Wil Thomy
(843) 389-2731 x122
advertising@wleeflowers.com
  True Speed Communication for Stewart-Haas Racing
Lauren Emling
(704) 885-4267
Lauren.Emling@TrueSpeedCommunication.com
     

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/38198284-4625-4dad-9c5c-ef434affbee3

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