Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Celebrity Cook Paula Deen and Smithfield Foods Helping Hungry Homes(TM) Come to Aid of Savannah Food Bank for Second Time This Year

/PRNewswire/ -- With the volatility of the country's economy and the growing population of the unemployed, more people than ever are turning to food banks to help feed their families. For the second time in less than a year, Smithfield Foods and celebrity cook Paula Deen came to the assistance of America's Second Harvest in Deen's hometown of Savannah with a delivery of 25,000 pounds of meat as part of their Helping Hungry Homes(TM) initiative. The donation equates to 100,000 servings of much-needed protein for hungry families.

"Americans today are facing the greatest challenges with this recession," said Deen. "I am grateful that my partners, Smithfield Foods, share my passion to help those who are struggling to feed their families. We want to do what we can to make things better for those who are going through hard times."

Accompanied by her husband Michael Groover and sons Bobby and Jamie, Deen continued to remark, "We are all aware that this will be a difficult holiday season for many families. It is our obligation to do whatever we can to help families with the basics like getting food on the table."

When added to a similar donation Smithfield Foods made in January of this year, Helping Hungry Homes(TM) has now donated nearly 70,000 pounds of meat to the America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. "Our communities have been hard hit with the downturn of the economy," said Mary Crouch, executive director of America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. "With that said, this makes the holidays even tougher especially when you are having trouble feeding your family. The delivery of this generous donation could not have come at a better time. We are so grateful for the efforts of Smithfield Foods and our Savannah neighbor Paula Deen for coming through with this much needed delivery of meat."

Smithfield Foods' Helping Hungry Homes(TM) 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. Since January, Smithfield Foods and Paula Deen distributed over 400,000 pounds of meat products to cities throughout the United States with an estimated retail value of over $1.2 million.

"During tight economic times, those who have the least oftentimes suffer more," said C. Larry Pope, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smithfield Foods. "We welcome this opportunity to renew our commitment to feeding families with this Helping Hungry Homes donation."

Mary Crouch agreed and replied, "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. This donation is the holiday spirit we all need."

America's Second Harvest is the nation's largest hunger-relief organization with 205 food bank members nationwide.

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