Helping Hungry Homes Feeds Meat to a Million

SAVANNAH, US — Not even the “Queen of Southern Cuisine” could envision providing one million servings of meat to the nation’s hungry. But, with the help of Smithfield Foods and America’s Second Harvest – The Nation’s Food Bank Network, Paula Deen, a US celebrity chef, will deliver enough food to do just that.
calendar icon 16 January 2008
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According to Smithfield, Deen, one of the Food Network’s top celebrity cooks, today launched the Smithfield Foods “Helping Hungry Homes™ Across America” tour, the first of many Smithfield Foods hunger initiatives for 2008. The 10-city tour kicked off today in Deen’s hometown of Savannah.

Deen and her family, along with volunteers from the local America’s Second Harvest food bank, unloaded 500 spiral hams for food insecure families in Savannah. The Smithfield Crunchy Glazed Honey Spiral Sliced Hams are formulated with Deen’s personal recipe. Next scheduled stops for the tour are Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans and Washington, D.C. before concluding in Detroit.

"When I learned about all the working hungry in this country, I realized that I had to do something."
Paula Deen, US celebrity chef.

“Our goal was to get as much food to as many needy families as possible,” Deen said. “I feel so grateful that my partners at Smithfield are helping me deliver enough food to serve one million people across the country. When I learned about all the working hungry in this country, I realized that I had to do something. Kicking off the tour in Savannah with my husband Michael and sons Jamie and Bobby is just the most wonderful feeling in the world.”

Smithfield Foods’ Helping Hungry Homes initiative was established to help ensure that American families in need do not go hungry. Smithfield Foods and its independent operating companies have a long history of stocking food banks, supporting after-school nutrition programs and providing food relief in the wake of natural disasters. This 10-city tour alone will distribute 250,000 pounds of meat products with an estimated retail value of over $1 million. Additional Helping Hungry Homes programs will be announced in 2008 to reach millions more of the nation’s hungry.

“Although Smithfield Foods has long been a supporter of hunger relief initiatives, we felt the need to help shine a spotlight on an ever-increasing problem for American families,” said Dennis Treacy, vice president of environmental and corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods. “Partnering with Paula Deen, who holds the value of family in such high regard, is a gratifying experience for a very worthwhile cause. Providing hunger relief through our Helping Hungry Homes initiative will remain a high priority throughout our family of companies.”

America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization with 205 food bank members nationwide, will assist with the coordination of food distribution at each of the tour stops.

“Meat donations are greatly needed for their nutritional value but are often the hardest to come by, making this donation all the more critical for our community,” said Mary Jane Crouch, executive director of America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. “Savannah families in need will be able to sit down to a nutritious meal thanks to the efforts of Smithfield Foods and Paula Deen.”

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