Smithfield Foods donated two trucks’ protein to the 25th Mayflower Marathon Holiday Food Drive, a 57-hour food and fundraising event held annually the weekend before Thanksgiving to support Food Bank. Peninsular of Virginia (VPF) and the Food Bank of Southeast Virginia and the East Coast (FSVES).

The two truckloads of donations, weighing in at nearly 80,000 pounds and the equivalent of approximately 300,000 protein servings, will be employed by the VPF and FSVES to serve those facing food insecurity in Hampton Roads during the holiday season. Each food bank will receive a truckload of donations.

Now through Sunday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m., volunteers are onsite to collect food and monetary donations to the Mayflower Marathon at the following locations:

  • Pembroke Mall at 4554 Virginia Beach Blvd. in Virginia Beach,
  • Kroger Marketplace at 1017 University Blvd. in Suffolk,
  • Kroger Marketplace at 1050 W. Mercury Blvd. at Coliseum Central in Hampton,
  • Kroger Marketplace at 5007-2 Victory Blvd. in Tabb.
  • Donations to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore are also accepted online.

“The Mayflower Marathon food and fund drive is a special tradition that helps us and our partner FSVES gear up to serve the nearly one in seven Virginians who are experiencing the hardships of food insecurity daily,” said Karen Joyner, chief executive officer of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. “We are grateful to Smithfield for this generous protein contribution, which will be put to good use to feed families, children, seniors, and veterans across the Peninsula, many of whom will continue to be impacted by challenges from the pandemic for years to come.”

“We’re excited to again partner with VPF to generate much-needed support for our neighbors in need as we approach the holiday season,” said Emma Inman, chief impact officer for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. “Donations of nutritionally important protein are especially useful to us as we work to meet the growing needs of our community and instill hope by alleviating hunger.”

Both VPF and FSVES are members of Feeding America’s network of 200 food banks across the United States. Last year, the Mayflower Marathon collected enough food and monetary donations to provide more than one million meals to Virginians in need. The event is sponsored by 106.9 the Fox and FM99.

“Smithfield is a proud longtime supporter of this round-the-clock food and fund drive,” said Jonathan Toms, community development manager for Smithfield Foods. “We can’t imagine a better way to kick-off the holiday season than to help feed those facing hunger in our communities. We thank the VPF and the FSVES for their ongoing work to protect and provide for our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Since 2008, Smithfield has donated hundreds of millions of protein servings across the U.S. through its signature hunger-relief initiative Helping Hungry Homes® and has pledged to donate an additional 100 million servings by 2025.

Helping Communities is a standalone pillar of the company’s sustainability program. More information on its philanthropic initiatives is available here.


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