Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day mixes fun and philanthropy

If there is anything that nearly two years of COVID-19 has shown, it’s that people do best when we help each other out.

Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day on Thursday is the perfect time to help out those less fortunate while also enjoying the North Carolina State Fair. The event allows fairgoers to bring in six cans of food to donate to the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina in exchange for free admission to the fair.

“Each year, over 50,000 fairgoers come through the gates by giving back to those in need. As we head into the winter months, this food is essential to the food banks across our state, and I am proud to have a company like Smithfield join us in feeding our neighbors,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

People drop off cans of food at the 2019 Hunger Relief Day

While Hunger Relief Day is not a new event at the fair, Smithfield is a new and welcome sponsor. Philanthropy is a core value for the company, which established its Helping Hungry Homes initiative in 2008 to feed the hungry and fight food insecurity nationwide. Since then, Smithfield has donated hundreds of millions of servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts, and community outreach programs in all 50 states across the country.

Jonathan Toms, Charitable Initiatives Manager for Smithfield Foods, said that sponsoring Hunger Relief Day was a significant opportunity for the company to pitch in.

“We are so proud to serve as the presenting sponsor for Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day at the North Carolina State Fair. Hunger Relief Day is an excellent opportunity for the community to join us in the fight against hunger by supporting the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina,” Toms said. “With more than 10,000 members of our Smithfield Family calling the state of North Carolina home, this is wonderful way to give back right here in our local community.”

Smithfield Foods places a heavy emphasis on philanthropy and fighting food insecurity, Toms said, which made this new partnership a natural fit.

“As a food company, feeding people is what we do. That’s why Smithfield is so passionate about fighting hunger and addressing food and nutritional security in our local communities. Hunger Relief Day is a chance for Smithfield to engage with fairgoers to make a meaningful impact for our neighbors in need,” he said.

Hunger Relief Day also has a long history. Since 1993, fairgoers have donated more than 5.3 million pounds of food to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Toms encouraged people to come together to help their neighbors.

“We all have a role to play in the fight against hunger. We encourage everyone to join us on October 21st for Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day at the North Carolina State Fair,” he said. “Bring your donations of canned goods and let’s support the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina together.”

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