Smithfield Foods’ Helping Hungry Homes® initiative, a program focused on alleviating hunger and helping Americans become more food secure, joined forces with Schnuck Markets, Inc. to donate 36,000 pounds of protein to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.

The donation, equivalent to 160,000 servings, will help those fighting hunger across central and northeast Missouri, where one in six individuals are food insecure.

“Protein is an essential part of a balanced meal,” said Lindsay Young-Lopez, executive director of The Food Bank. “It is greatly needed and an often-difficult resource to acquire. We are tremendously appreciative of Smithfield’s generous donation.”

Smithfield and Schnucks representatives presented the donation to The Food Bank Sept. 6 at an event that raised awareness of hunger’s impact in the local community. Members from all three organizations discussed the significance of protein donations in helping the more than 100,000 individuals The Food Bank serves regularly.

“As a company, Schnucks understands how imperative it is to support the fight against hunger,” said Joanie Taylor, Schnucks director of community relations. “We are especially thrilled to partner with Smithfield and The Food Bank to offer relief to our local community members who are seeking assistance.”

Smithfield’s donation to The Food Bank was a part of the Helping Hungry Homes® 2017 nationwide donation tour. Throughout the annual tour, Smithfield will provide large-scale protein donations to nearly 60 food banks across the country. This donation adds to the more than 65 million servings of protein donated since 2011.

“At Smithfield, we understand the importance of proper nutrition and value our responsibility to raise awareness of and alleviate hunger throughout the country,” said Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief for Smithfield Foods. “Today, we are proud to offer our support to The Food Bank and provide delicious, protein-rich meal options to people throughout its service area.”