Governor Northam Announces Major Donation from Smithfield Foods to Support Programs for Homeless Veterans
RICHMOND, Va., August 22, 2019 /3BL Media/ — Governor Ralph Northam today announced that The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has donated $150,000 to support state programs for homeless veterans and their families. Governor accepted the donation from Smithfield Foods on behalf of the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation (VVSF) during a special ceremony in Richmond. The donation will be designated to the Homeless Veteran Fund.
“With nearly one in ten Virginians having worn a uniform, our Commonwealth is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the country, and we owe it to our Virginia veterans to ensure they have a safe place to live,” said Governor Northam. “We are grateful for our ongoing partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies, and the financial support of generous donors like Smithfield Foods that enables us to meet the needs of the more than 730,000 veterans living in Virginia and make sure that veteran homelessness in our Commonwealth is rare, brief, and non-recurring.”
In 2015, Virginia became the first state in the nation to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to functionally end veteran homelessness.
“We greatly appreciate Smithfield’s long-standing commitment to Virginia’s veteran community and this donation is just another example of their ongoing support,” said Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins. “Not all of the needs of homeless veterans can be met through government resources and donated funds from businesses, individuals, and community partners help to fill these gaps. We will continue to expand the work to prevent homelessness among veterans as part of our overall efforts to make Virginia the most military-friendly state in the nation.”
The Virginia Veteran and Family Support Program, which is operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS), and VVSF established the Homeless Veteran Fund in 2016 to provide one-time gap assistance to homeless veterans in the process of being housed and those in danger of becoming homeless. Smithfield’s $150,000 donation adds to their initial $68,000 contribution in 2016 in support of this program. The program has assisted over 700 homeless veterans since its inception by providing funding for housing deposits, rent, and utility payments.
“At Smithfield, our ongoing commitment to support veterans directly aligns with the mission of the DVS Homeless Veteran Fund and we are pleased to provide resources to ensure the continued success of this program right here in our home state of Virginia,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smithfield Foods. “We are honored to give back to our nation’s veterans through this unique and successful public-private partnership, in honor of their service and sacrifice to all of us.”
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation, I join Governor Northam and Secretary Hopkins in offering our sincerest appreciation for this significant donation and the continuing commitment of Smithfield Foods,” said Frank Finelli, VVSF Board Chairman. “Smithfield Foods has a proud tradition of supporting military families and veterans both here in their home state of Virginia and across the nation. We are pleased that this gift will be used to provide the needed assistance for homeless veterans throughout the Commonwealth.”
About the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation
The Virginia Veterans Services Foundation is a state agency established to support the interest of Virginia veterans and their families through programs and services offered by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. The Foundation provides supplemental funding for designated programs when state and federal funds are not available and depends solely on contributions from veteran and community organizations, businesses, grants and caring individuals. Each dollar raised stays in Virginia and 100 percent of all contributions made to the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation go directly to veterans in crisis or in need of assistance. For more information, visit www.vvsf.org.
About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.