Just two weeks after Smithfield Foods-brand Farmland donated $9,000 to the Kansas FFA Association, the company made an identical donation to Nebraska’s FFA. The effort is part of the Honoring the Heartland Tour, which aims to invest in the next generation of the agricultural industry, show appreciation to hardworking farming communities, and support neighborhoods rooted in the Midwest through protein-rich food donations.
“Young people are one of our greatest assets when it comes to the future of agriculture and localized farming in America’s heartland,” said Jessica Scarlett, senior associate brand manager for Farmland. “Farmland is pleased to share this donation with the Nebraska FFA Association to support students in their endeavors as they strive to make a positive impact within their communities.”
Farmland is adding to its giving with a contribution of nearly 30,000 pounds of protein to Food Bank for the Heartland, which in partnership with National Pork Board, Nebraska Pork Producers Association, and country superstar Luke Bryan’s Farm Tour is hoping to help fight food insecurity.
With six Farm Tour stops across the Midwest this September (including a stop in Murdock, Nebraska), Farmland and the National Pork Board will be donating truckloads of protein to local food banks in Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota, totaling an estimated one million servings of protein.
Food Bank for the Heartland reported that the organization has never experienced such a sustained hunger crisis in its 40-year history due to the implications of inflation. The effects have caused significant cost spikes across all aspects of operation, including sourcing, purchasing, storing, and distributing food. Concurrently, Food Bank for the Heartland has seen significant increases in the number of households served across their service area — eclipsing those seen during the height of the pandemic. And with food prices rising, especially for meat, fish and poultry, the crisis has forced Heartland families to make impossible decisions between paying for groceries and other necessities like rent and medication.
To further say thanks to those making an impact locally during these challenging past years and beyond, Farmland’s food truck provided meals to Food Bank employees and volunteers at the event.
“This donation could not come at a better time, as protein-rich foods play an important role in our fight against hunger and inflation has made protein less accessible to families and individuals,” said Brian Barks, President and CEO at Food Bank for the Heartland.