February 21, 2024

With Brand's Help, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech Fans Give Big to School Food Pantries

SMITHFIELD, Va., Feb. 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- This season, Smithfield Commonwealth Clash rivals, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, competed in more than just basketball. The schools rallied during the Jan. 17 game at UVA and the Feb. 19 game at Virginia Tech to see whose fans could donate the most food items for the schools' food pantries. Virginia Tech prevailed in the friendly yet unofficial Commonwealth Clash competition by collecting nearly 700 pounds of nonperishable food during its hosted game night in support of the food pantry — and a combined total of more than 1,200 pounds between the two food pantries. In addition to the nonperishable items donated, Smithfield donated $5,000 to both the UVA Community Food Pantry and the Market of Virginia Tech.

"Smithfield is a proud ambassador for both Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia in the Smithfield Commonwealth Clash, and helping to fight food insecurity on each campus is an important initiative as a food brand," said Jessica Scarlett, brand manager for Smithfield at Smithfield Foods. "Through the food drives and our contribution of $5,000 to each school's food pantry, we're dedicated to helping the communities within our home state with hunger relief."

Since the 2014-2015 academic year, the brand has partnered with the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech in the rivalry between the schools across all school-sponsored sports — becoming the presenting sponsor of the Smithfield Commonwealth Clash in the 2021-2022 season. Throughout the year under this sponsorship, Smithfield supports the communities surrounding UVA and Virginia Tech. During football season, the company donated 60,000 pounds of protein – more than 240,000 servings – to Feeding Southwest Virginia and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. And during basketball season, the company committed to support the campus food pantries and fight student hunger.

"The support Smithfield has provided for The Market at Virginia Tech is remarkable, from bringing the food drive initiative to us to providing $5,000 to contribute to its efforts," said Isabelle Largen, Virginia Tech student affairs for The Market at Virginia Tech. "During this friendly rivalry with the University of Virginia, our campus communities are the real winner."

"Smithfield's support for our campus community with the $5,000 donation to the UVA Community Food Pantry showcases the commitment to our schools within the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Lydia Stoner, executive director at UVA Community Food Pantry. "This fun rivalry between UVA and Virginia Tech has brought incredible awareness and unbelievable support to our local communities."

The UVA Community Food Pantry is a student-run initiative that aims to eliminate the financial hardships of UVA students and staff by attempting to access adequate food and providing essential food and hygiene items. It also aims to identify and quantify food insecurity at UVA to advocate for a just food system for all members of the UVA community.

The Market of Virginia Tech, an initiative of Student Affairs, was developed to provide support to students currently experiencing food insecurity. Program participants receive a variety of produce, proteins, dairy and nondairy products, and shelf-stable items on a weekly basis. Supported by a $1.5 million donation from alumni couple Hema and Mehul Sanghani, the program launched in 2020 to provide up to 115 students at a time with weekly grocery shopping. Last semester, The Market served 350 additional students through other initiatives, including open market hours and pop-up pantries.

"We are proud of all these students and fans have done to support each campus and community," Scarlett added. "It has been such a privilege to sponsor these efforts. We can't wait to do it all again next academic year!"

About Smithfield
Smithfield® isn't only a leading provider of high-quality pork products. We're a leading provider of the most important part of any meal: premium, high-quality meat. And we take our meat duties seriously. After all, the rest of the meal is just a side dish. Smithfield products were first introduced in 1936 in Smithfield, Virginia, by people who lived for the love of meat. Today, the Smithfield brand stands for craftsmanship, authenticity, and pure passion as we continue to give meat-lovers across the country the deliciousness they crave: our classic bacon, slow-smoked holiday hams, hand-trimmed ribs, marinated fresh pork, smoked meats, and even more meaty magic. All Smithfield products not only meet our customers' high flavor standards but also meet the highest quality and safety standards in the industry. All while being produced right here in the USA. To learn more about the Smithfield portfolio of products, please visit and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formally known as Twitter). Smithfield® is a brand of Smithfield Foods, Inc.

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is a U.S. food company that employs more than 54,000 people in seven countries and partners with thousands of American farmers. As one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies, we are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" to feed a growing world population. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in our U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30% 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 food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs in all 50 U.S. states. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Gwaltney® and Nathan's Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.


SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.

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