Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes program made the 13th stop on its 2016 nationwide hunger-relief tour yesterday to donate more than 35,000 pounds of protein to the Redwood Empire Food Bank. On Sunday, June 26, Smithfield partnered with Save Mart and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) to present the donation at the Sonoma Raceway and kick off a series of race-morning activities at the Smithfield trackside display. The donation will provide more than 140,000 servings of protein to 82,000 people in Sonoma County who depend on the Redwood Empire Food Bank for meals each month.

RPM No. 43 driver Aric Almirola, who has partnered with the Smithfield Helping Hungry Homes campaign to donate thousands of pounds of protein over recent years, was present to discuss the importance of these donations from Smithfield and to raise awareness about the necessity of providing assistance to our neighbors in need in the Sonoma area.

Helping Hungry Homes, now in its eighth year, is Smithfield’s coast-to-coast campaign 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 United States totaling more than 3.5 million servings. To date, Helping Hungry Homes has provided more than 39 million servings of protein to food banks across America.

“When it comes to hunger relief, the most difficult foods to acquire are Center of Plate Foods,” said David Goodman, CEO of the Redwood Empire Food Bank.  They are the foods that answer the question, ‘What is for dinner tonight?’ The generous donation from Smithfield and Save Mart will ensure that struggling families throughout our community have a delicious and nutritious meal this evening- providing hope, dignity and joy during a very difficult time in their lives.”

“Save Mart wants the communities we serve to thrive,” said Randy Slenz, general manager of Save Mart. “On average, one in seven Californians faces food insecurity. This donation made in partnership with Smithfield Foods ensures Redwood Empire can help many local families in the coming months.”

“Smithfield is proud to partner with Save Mart and RPM to provide Redwood Empire with this donation through our Helping Hungry Homes program,” said Dennis Pittman, Smithfield senior director of corporate communications and public affairs. As a food company, it’s our responsibility to help our neighbors in need. Through this donation, we are proud to provide wholesome protein to families and individuals throughout the Sonoma area.

“Richard Petty Motorsports is honored to participate in this donation during the race weekend here in Sonoma,” said Almirola. So many race fans are loyal customers of Smithfield and shop at Save Mart, 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.