Farmland® Donates $5,000 to Nebraska FFA Association and More Than 160,000 Servings of Protein to Local Omaha Food Bank as Part of its Honoring the Heartland Tour

Contributions to Support the FFA's Efforts in Strengthening Agriculture at the State Level and Help Food Bank for the Heartland Fight Community Hunger

July 26, 2021 10:07 PM EDT

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OMAHA, Neb., July 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier today, Farmland® recognized the Nebraska FFA Association and its positive impact in the community and across the state through a check donation of $5,000. The gift is part of the 2021 Honoring the Heartland Tour, an initiative launched by Farmland in June to show appreciation for the honest work and tireless commitment in Midwest farming communities, agriculture industries, and retail establishments, and to support the next generation of farmers.

The brand's 13-week mission will honor the unsung heroes of our agri-food chain and highlight the fundamental role the heartland plays by delivering grab-n-go lunches and providing monetary donations to support the future of farming. The Farmland Honoring The Heartland Tour food truck will complete two to three stops per week at various locations rooted in Midwestern neighborhoods. In addition to distributing meals, the brand will be donating to the National FFA Organization and state-level FFA Associations throughout the tour to assist them in their vision to grow leaders, build communities and strengthen agriculture at the local, state and national levels.

This $5,000 donation to the Nebraska FFA Association will go towards the organization's mission to develop its students' potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success. With so many Nebraskans directly employed in agriculture, institutions like this are vital in creating the next generation of leaders and ensuring a positive future for the category.

"Farmland is humbled to share this donation with the Nebraska FFA Association so they can continue to be a prominent influence in the agricultural sphere by offering valuable real-world information and opportunities to its student and alumni chapters," said Michael Merritt, Jr. senior director for Farmland at Smithfield Foods. "Farmland is committed to supporting localized farming in America's heartland to provide customers with high-quality, flavorful products they can trust and feel good about. The donation today honors the brand's appreciation for the crucial role our partners in this industry play for not only our products, but our nation's food supply."

"We are thankful for Farmland's ongoing support of the National and State-level FFA Organization's missions," said Molly Ball, chief marketing officer for National FFA Organization and president for National FFA Foundation. "We're happy to join in honoring the unsung heroes of farming and agriculture, many of whom are former FFA members."

The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 760,000 student members as part of 8,700 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In addition to supporting local farming and agriculture communities, Farmland is simultaneously working to keep these neighborhoods strong by alleviating hunger. In its efforts, the brand is partnering with Hy-Vee to help fight food insecurity across Omaha through a donation of more than 40,000 pounds of protein to the Food Bank for the Heartland. This is the equivalent of more than 160,000 servings of protein, which is one of the most valuable resources the food bank distributes.

The donation is part of Smithfield Foods' Helping Hungry Homes initiative, which was created in 2008 to fight hunger and food insecurity in local communities across the country. Since then, the company has donated more than 215 million servings of protein to food banks, community outreach programs, and disaster-relief efforts in all 50 states. To learn more, visit https://sustainability.smithfieldfoods.com/helping-communities.

"Smithfield Foods is proud to help our neighbors navigate challenging times by working to alleviate hunger and show appreciation for the Food Bank for the Heartland for their tireless work this past year," said Jonathan Toms, charitable initiatives manager for Smithfield Foods. "We are honored to support America's food banks, which provide essential meals to millions of people every day, to assist in fighting food insecurity across the country."

"We are tremendously grateful to the teams at Smithfield Foods, Farmland, and Hy-Vee for their continued support of our mission at Food Bank for the Heartland," said Brian Barks, President and CEO for Food Bank for the Heartland. "Protein-rich foods play an important role in our fight against hunger, especially during this critical time. This generous donation will help us provide more healthy meals to more families in need – allowing them to focus, work, live, and thrive. We are also thankful for Farmland for bringing their food truck to our facility to feed our staff and volunteers."  

"Hy-Vee is proud to operate under the same philosophy as Farmland, as we join together to help support the communities where we work and live," said Craig Todd, District Store Director for Hy-Vee. "This donation to the Food Bank for the Heartland is especially crucial, now more than ever, to provide our fellow neighbors with essential provisions to help fight food insecurity following a heartbreaking year."

As part of the donation event at Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha, Neb., the Farmland food truck also supplied meals to essential food bank employees and volunteers – a token of the brand's gratitude for courageously working during this past year to ensure neighbors still had access to fresh food.

For more information and to see where the Honoring the Heartland Tour goes next, follow us on Facebook (@FarmlandFoods), Instagram (@farmlandfoods) or Twitter (@FarmlandFoods). Farmland is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

About FarmlandFounded in 1959, Farmland is the maker of high-quality, flavorful meats. Rooted in rich traditions of America's heartland, Farmland is committed to a strong work ethic, community, substance over flash, and wholesome, quality food that people feel good about serving. Farmland's robust portfolio of products includes varieties of bacon, sausage, ham and lunch meat. For more information about our products and recipe inspiration, please visit www.FarmlandFoods.com or follow us on Facebook (@FarmlandFoods), Instagram (@farmlandfoods) or Twitter (@FarmlandFoods). Farmland is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

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 63,000 team members 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 our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our communities. 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 FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

About National FFA OrganizationThe National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 760,000 student members as part of 8,700 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook and Twitter.

About National FFA FoundationThe National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. A separately registered nonprofit organization, the foundation is governed by a board of trustees that includes the national FFA president, educators, business leaders and individual donors. For more, visit FFA.org/Give.

About Nebraska FFA FoundationThe Nebraska FFA Foundation invests in agricultural education and FFA for over 10,000 FFA members and their advisors in Nebraska by growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. For more information, visit neffafoundation.org.

About Food Bank for the Heartland (a member of Feeding America)Food Bank for the Heartland is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Omaha, Nebraska that acts as a central clearinghouse distributing food to more than 600 network partners across 77 counties in Nebraska and 16 counties in western Iowa. Food Bank for the Heartland distributed more than 32.8 million meals in 2020, helping thousands of children, families, seniors, veterans, and others in need. For more information, visit FoodBankHeartland.org.

About Hy-Vee, Inc.Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 280 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $11 billion annually. The supermarket chain is synonymous with quality, variety, convenience, healthy lifestyles, culinary expertise and superior customer service. Hy-Vee ranks in the Top 10 Most Trusted Brands and has been named one of America's Top 5 favorite grocery stores. The company's more than 86,000 employees provide "A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle" to customers every day. For additional information, visit www.hy-vee.com.

Media Contact:Caroline GreerHUNTER: on behalf of Farmland(646) 459-4952cgreer@hunterpr.com

Kristy MeyerNational FFA Organization(800) 293-2387KMeyer@FFA.org

Travis Carlson Food Bank for the Heartland(720) 440-1885tcarlson@foodbankheartland.org

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SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.



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