As part of its commitment to hunger relief, Perdue Farms delivered a $10,000 grant and 40,000 pounds of protein to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to continue a school-based mobile pantry in Cabarrus County at Winecoff Elementary School in Concord for the upcoming school year. The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms, provided the grant.
Through the mobile pantry, children and their families at risk of hunger at Winecoff Elementary receive staple pantry items, as well as Perdue no-antibiotics-ever chicken, fresh bread, produce, eggs, juice and more at the pantry. Since the inception of the mobile pantry in 2015, close to 2,000 families have received assistance, helping to provide significant financial savings to the budgets of families already struggling. Winecoff Elementary currently has a free-reduced lunch rate of 90 percent. The school is located near the Perdue Farms further-processing plant in Concord.
“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Second Harvest and Winecoff Elementary to help ensure that some of our youngest and most vulnerable neighbors and their families have the food they need,” said Chad Huffman, Director of Perdue Operations in Concord. “At Perdue, we believe that no one should go hungry. That’s why hunger relief is a top priority year-round in partnership with Feeding America and a network of affiliated food bank partners across the footprint of our company. We hope our donation will be especially helpful for those in need.”
“We are excited to partner again with our friends from Perdue to provide healthy, nutritious protein to children and families at Winecoff Elementary,” said Kay Carter, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. “Through our partnership, we are able to continue this School Mobile Pantry and distribute much needed protein, an item that is often the least available to those struggling with food insecurity, to families who are struggling.”
In Cabarrus County, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina supports numerous child hunger programs, including backpack programs, Kids Café sites, and school-based mobile pantries. There are more than 8,500 children in Cabarrus County living at or below the poverty level.
In 2000, Perdue Farms became one of the first meat companies to implement a formal program of ongoing donations of perishable protein products, creating a model for other companies to follow. Perdue now has a formal process for donating to Feeding America. Perdue Farms is committed to providing a maximum of two million pounds of protein annually to Feeding America, which is the equivalent to eight million meals a year. Over the past 19 years, Perdue Farms has donated more than 76 million pounds of food to Feeding America. Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina is one of the 200-member Feeding America food banks, which servces every county in the United States and provides more than four billion meals each year to Americans in need.
The partnership with Feeding America has earned Perdue Farms the New Donor of the Year Award from Feeding America, followed a few years later by the Protein Donor of the Year Award. Perdue has been recognized by Feeding America as a Mission Partner since 2016, with protein donations exceeding four million pounds annually.