Helping the communities where we live and work.
group of employees unloading a box of food for the foodbank

Helping Communities

Committed to Our Communities For More Than 80 Years

At Smithfield, we know good things start at home. That’s why we are dedicated to helping our communities through targeted philanthropy, employee volunteerism and efforts such as scholarships that make a difference in real lives. Our focus is on three things that deeply matter to us – hunger relief, education, and veterans, where we have made great strides through corporate giving and employee involvement.

Helping Communities Highlights and Achievements

For more than eight decades, Smithfield has committed to helping communities where our employees live and work. Never has the need been so great as in 2020. We contributed tens of millions of dollars in cash and in-kind donations to our three signature causes: food insecurity, education and support for veterans. To expand our impact, we encourage employees to volunteer and donate to these and other local causes in support of neighbors in need. As supply chain disruptions and the economic impact of the pandemic put an increased number of families at risk of hunger, we accelerated our contributions to food banks across the United States, quickly mobilizing record donations of protein.

Annual Protein Donation

We delivered 17 million pounds of protein, the equivalent of 69 million servings, to Feeding America, our long-time hunger-relief partner, marking our largest annual donation of protein to date.

Helping Our Heros

In November, Military Family Appreciation Month, we launched Helping Our Heroes, a new initiative strengthening our support for U.S. military veterans and their families and reaffirming our commitment to hiring 4,000 military veterans by 2025.

Educational Scholarships

We provided more than $1 million worth of educational scholarships to children and grandchildren of U.S.-based employees.

Our Goals And Targets

Our Helping Communities Goal: Support our communities through targeted philanthropy, employee volunteerism and other engagement opportunities.
Maintain hunger relief programs to help those in need.
Interact with schools and students by providing school supplies, scholarship assistance and facility support.
Have each facility/farm region participate in annual community events (four events in the United States and two events internationally).
Unachievable due to COVID-19 restrictions
Include a stakeholder presentation during at least one event per year.
Unachievable due to COVID-19 restrictions
Our Goal: Serve communities through targeted philanthropy & employee volunteerism to make an impact that addresses food insecurity, advances education & supports U.S. military vets & their families.
Fight food insecurity across the country by donating 100 million servings of protein through our Helping Hungry Homes initiative by 2025.
Honor the service and sacrifice of American veterans and their families through our Helping Our Heroes program, which focuses on hiring initiatives, career development and strengthening the community and family support systems veterans rely on every day.
Give back to local communities through philanthropic and volunteer support at every Smithfield operation globally on an annual basis.
Develop the next generation of leaders through scholarship assistance for students and donations to schools and educational programs.
Smithfield feels a great responsibility for the communities where our employees live and work."
- Jonathan Toms, Charitable Initiatives

Showing Up in Our Communities

We are proud of Smithfield’s philanthropic contributions and relief efforts to make a challenging year a little better in the communities where we live and work. Our Helping Hungry Homes initiative provided hunger relief to tens of millions of people impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19. Our Helping Our Heroes platform strengthened our commitment to honor the service and sacrifices of military veterans and their families. We salute our employees, heroes themselves in many ways, who jumped in to volunteer and contribute to communities in need.

Our Helping Hungry Homes initiative provided hunger relief to tens of millions of people impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19.

Addressing Food Security Challenges in 2020

As a global protein company, hunger relief is the cornerstone of our social purpose and a significant focus of our community efforts. We have a responsibility to help our neighbors navigate challenging times by alleviating hunger. In 2020, we quantified our commitment in our new goal: to fight food insecurity in the United States by donating 100 million servings of protein through our Helping Hungry Homes initiative by 2025.

Feeding-America-Mission-Partner.pngFeeding America

The year 2020 presented our communities with unprecedented health and economic challenges. Our Helping Hungry Homes initiative, founded in 2008, was at the heart of our efforts to help them stay afloat.

Amid business closures and sharply rising unemployment at the onset and throughout the pandemic, America’s food banks, which provide essential meals to millions of people even in prosperous times, were in urgent need. In coordination with Feeding America, our long-time hunger relief partner in the United States, we mobilized Smithfield team members from across the company to deliver 17 million pounds of protein, the equivalent of 69 million servings, to food banks across the United States. The donations, valued at more than $62 million, marked our company’s largest annual donation of protein to date, delivered in record time.

Helping Hungry Homes, our signature hunger relief program, has now provided more than 212 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs in all 50 U.S. states since 2008.

Supporting Hunger Relief Internationally

Hunger relief is also a core philanthropic initiative at our operations in Poland and Romania. Through our hunger relief program in Romania, we donated more than 20,000 pounds of protein products to 11 charities that prepared and delivered nearly 40,000 servings to local families. For example, in March, approximately 100 children and adults received lunches prepared with pork and other ingredients donated by Smithfield Romania. In Poland, we work directly with local food banks and community representatives to direct our time, money and products to various community meal programs. This year, ahead of the holiday season, our team in Kraków participated in the Szlachetna Paczka (the Noble Gift) initiative to support a local family with much-needed nonperishable foods as well as school supplies, clothing and toys for the children.

Employee Giving

Our U.S. employees joined our efforts to fight hunger in their local communities in September during National Hunger Action Month™, Smithfield’s annual companywide food drive, and collected more than 57,000 pounds of nonperishable food. Thanks to our employees’ generosity, nearly 48,000 meals were distributed to 30 food banks across the country through this initiative.

Expanding Educational Opportunity

Our philanthropic initiatives provide educational opportunities to employees, their families and communities. In 2020, our long-standing commitment to scholarships and educational grants totaled nearly $4 million in the United States and nearly $500,000 in Poland and Romania.

Through our Unity and Action strategy, we made a two-year $5 million commitment to help increase access to quality education and bridge divides in communities. We also provided educational scholarships valued at more than $1 million to 177 children and grandchildren of our U.S. full-time and retired employees. To help ensure a broad range of educational opportunities for deserving students, we have committed to further diversify our partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (HCBUs).

In 2020, we awarded 447 scholarships to children of employees and local farmers in Poland through our Zygmunt Piwonski Smithfield Polska Foundation, which has granted more than 3,400 scholarships valued at more than $2 million since 2007.

With the pandemic curtailing volunteerism, our Smithfield Romania’s Back to School program pivoted in 2020 to invest in technology to support online classes, IT labs and other distance-learning infrastructure in schools in its local communities. In total, we provided more than $228,000 in educational funding to 34 schools.

Supporting Our Military Veterans

Smithfield owes the men and women who have served the United States a debt of gratitude, and it is our responsibility to do what we can to help them.

We launched Helping Our Heroes in November 2020 to underscore our long-standing commitment to honor the service and sacrifice of American veterans and their families. This new initiative expands on our three veteran-related focus areas:
  • Prioritizing veteran employment and career development
  • Helping power veteran-owned businesses
  • Strengthening the community and family support systems that veterans rely on every day
Our efforts include comprehensive support for their transitions back to civilian life, including dedicated veteran hiring, training, retention and employment initiatives. For example, our Military Fellowship Program provides an 18-month rotational development curriculum to prepare veterans for leadership opportunities, while our Military Supervisor-in-Training Program identifies and trains veterans in skills necessary to become production supervisors at manufacturing facilities. Smithfield Salutes, an employee business resource group, provides support and helps ensure veterans succeed in their careers with us.

In 2020, we extended the target of our commitment to hire 4,000 veterans to the end of 2025. Building on lessons learned during the first phase of our commitment, we are working with veteran employment offices, partnering with national veteran career organizations and advisory councils, engaging our veteran employees in community outreach and increasing our recognition of veteran employees. Through our new partnership with the Hampton Roads Workforce Council in Southeastern Virginia, for example, current and former members of the military receive hiring support, professional career consultation and direct access to regional employment opportunities, including at Smithfield facilities.

We continue to advance career opportunities for veterans through ongoing partnerships such as RedWhiteandCool, our collaboration with the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA), which introduces transitioning military veterans to opportunities in the growing industrial refrigeration industry. We also provided hands-on agriculture training to 77 transitioning military members through North Carolina State University’s Soldier to Agriculture Program.

Helping Our Heroes also underscores our commitment to championing veteran-owned businesses. We continued to support The Global Good Fund, a leadership development program to help veteran entrepreneurs accelerate and scale their businesses. In 2020, our third year of support, our $400,000 grant helped 10 Veteran Fellows raise $3.2 million in capital and report an increase in revenue to a combined $1.4 million despite the challenges of the pandemic. The veteran-owned businesses also created 19 new full-time jobs and indirectly created 29 additional positions. Smithfield’s procurement team also prioritizes working with veteran-owned, minority-owned and women-owned businesses across our supply chain.

We remain dedicated to strengthening community and family support systems for American veterans. This effort includes investments in internal employee resources to help with military-to-civilian life transitions and giving back to veteran communities.

Partnering Locally

The year 2020 underscored how critical Smithfield’s charitable contributions are to the communities and households that purchase our products. Throughout the year, we partnered with local causes that resonate with our brands and with consumers, contributing nearly $300,000 in cash and in-kind donations through cause-giving campaigns in support of essential workers, healthy communities, hunger relief, education and veteran support.

Among our most successful:
  • Pure Farmland™ Pure Growth Project awarded $100,000 in grants to 50 not-for-profits committed to increasing the availability of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables by nurturing neighborhood green spaces and community gardeners.
  • The Farmer John® Thank You Tour provided grab-and-go meals to essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic, donating more than 1 million hotdogs and innumerable “thank-you’s” over a 14-week campaign.
  • Smithfield Culinary, our foodservice unit, donated $25,000 to the Ferdinand Metz American Culinary Federation Relief Fund to support foodservice industry professionals impacted by COVID-19. With approximately 14 million people in the United States employed in the foodservice industry, a staggering number of individuals were laid off, furloughed or had their hours reduced.

Helping Communities Spotlights

Our philanthropic efforts focus largely on three signature causes that align with our business and the needs of our neighbors: hunger relief, education, and veterans.

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Best for Vets Employer

Smithfield was ranked among the Best For Vets: Employers 2020 by the Military Times for the second consecutive year.

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Employee Volunteerism

Our employees supported local community organizations and efforts, volunteering nearly 1,600 hours to education, health, hunger relief and other causes they are passionate about.

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FUSE Studio Offered $350,000 Grant

With a two-year, $350,000 grant from Smithfield, FUSE Studio launched a hands-on, learning-studio education in 20 partner schools in our communities in North Carolina, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota.

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Helping Health Care Workers

As part of Smithfield’s global response to the pandemic, operations in the United States, Poland and Romania provided personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals.

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Disaster Relief

Smithfield donated more than 80,000 pounds of protein (or 320,000 servings) to support relief efforts in Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas and Kentucky communities devastated by tornadoes and hurricanes in 2020.

Our 2020 Sustainability Report outlines our efforts to make a lasting impact in our process and policies. It is a wide-reaching view of how we want to hold ourselves to the highest standards.

Download the report