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South Salt Lake Journal

Local company donates 40,000 lbs. of meat to food bank

Aug 29, 2019 11:37AM ● By Bill Hardesty

Ginette Bott, president and CEO of Utah Food Bank, explained the importance of the Smithfield Food's 40,000 lbs. of packaged meat donation. (Courtesy of Smithfield Foods)

By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]

"In·se·cu·ri·ty / insəˈkyo͝orədē / noun / the state of being open to danger or threat; lack of protection." 

When “food” is added in front of that word—as in food insecurity—the national, state, and South Salt Lake City problem of hunger comes into clearer focus.

On Aug. 13, Smithfield Foods in conjunction with Smith’s Food & Drug donated 40,000 lbs. of packaged meat to the Utah Food Bank. This contribution translates into 160,000 servings of protein for the hungry in Utah.

"One out of seven children battle hunger in Utah," said Ginette Bott, president and CEO of Utah Food Bank.

She continued, "We’re grateful for partners, like Smithfield Foods and Smith’s, who provide the necessary nutrition to feed those in need. This donation will support many in our community, and we are pleased to continue working to alleviate hunger in our great state.”

Helping Hungry Homes

This is the 38th large-scale protein donation made by Smithfield Foods across the country. 

“At Smithfield, we’re dedicated to feeding people, especially in the communities we call home,” said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “We’re humbled to provide this donation to support our neighbors in need throughout Utah, and we’re pleased to partner with like-minded organizations like Smith’s as we work to alleviate food insecurity for all Americans.”

In 2008, Smithfield Foods began a charitable initiative called Helping Hungry Homes. It is their signature hunger-relief program focused on helping Americans become more food secure. Since the conception, they have provided 130 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs across the country including Hawaii. 

While Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer, they are also a local company. They have an operation in Salt Lake City and hog farms in Milford.

Smith's Food & Drug

Two years ago, Smith's conducted a survey asking how they could make a difference. The issue of hunger boiled to the top. With that in mind, Smith's started the initiative called Zero Hunger Zero Waste.

"Forty percent of food becomes waste," Aubriana Martindale, division corporate affairs manager for Smith's Food & Drug reported.

To stop such waste, Smith's makes daily donations of food to the Utah Food Bank. They also work with vendors like Smithfield Foods to make significant contributions.

"Partnerships with companies like Smithfield are invaluable because we know that together, we can truly impact the lives of so many in our local communities," Martindale said.

Utah Food Bank

The Food Bank was founded in 1904 and has operated under various names. But, their mission of fighting hunger statewide has remained the same. The serve a network of 150 emergency food pantries and agencies. Last fiscal year, they distributed 43.3 million pounds of food and goods. This works out to about 36.1 million meals to Utahns in need. 

To locate the nearest food bank, visit or call 2-1-1 for information and referrals.