Smithfield's Helping Hungry Homes program made the 15th stop on its 2016 nationwide hunger-relief tour recently to donate more than 25,000 pounds of much-needed protein, a nutritional resource often hard to come by for food banks, to the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati. At a recent presentation event, speakers discussed the importance of donations like these in Greater Cincinnati, where one in six people suffer from hunger.

Smithfield partnered with Kroger and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) on the effort. The donation will provide more than 100,000 servings and help the food bank continue to provide meals to more than 285,000 people suffering from hunger in the city. During the program, RPM No. 43 driver Aric Almirola commended Smithfield's continuing hunger-relief efforts and spoke about the necessity of providing assistance to our neighbors in need.

Helping Hungry Homes, now in its eighth year, is Smithfield's coast-to-coast program to help Americans become more food secure. This year, the program will help fight hunger through more than 30 large-scale protein donations to food banks across the U.S.

"Hunger affects people you see every day," said Kurt Reiber, Freestore Foodbank president and CEO. "An unexpected illness, injury, car repair or life change can put a self-sufficient person at risk of hunger. We truly appreciate the continued support of Smithfield Foods as we work to serve our hungry neighbors in the community. This generous donation will help nourish local children and families who don't have enough to eat. We are thankful for this partnership as we work together to solve hunger."

"Kroger is proud to partner with Smithfield to help our neighbors in need," said Tim Brown, Kroger Cincinnati/Dayton division president and Freestore Foodbank board member. "This protein donation to the Freestore Foodbank comes when kids are home more during the summer. This will definitely go a long way to help ensure that those in need won't go hungry."

"Richard Petty Motorsports is honored to participate in this donation leading up to Kentucky race weekend," said Almirola. "So many race fans are loyal customers of Smithfield and shop at Kroger, so it's great to see the two organizations partnering to give back to the communities that support them, and our race team, throughout the year."