Smithfield Foundation Helping Mold Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

SMITHFIELD, Va. , Oct. 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Smithfield Foundation announced today that it has awarded 65 scholarships that will allow the children and grandchildren of Smithfield Foods’ employees to attend a wide range of colleges and universities this fall.

Through 2015, the Smithfield Foundation has awarded 457 annual scholarships worth more than $3.3 million.

First established in 2002, the Smithfield Foundation is a nonprofit organization that acts as the philanthropic wing of Smithfield Foods, Inc. Since its inception, the Smithfield Foundation has provided educational scholarships to the dependent children and grandchildren of full-time and retired employees of Smithfield.

“Providing financial support for critical community programs, such as helping educate our young people, who will be tomorrow’s leaders, is a central part of our company’s mission,” said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield’s chief executive officer.

“The Smithfield Foundation’s new slogan of ‘Nourishing Minds and Bodies’ perfectly describes the organization’s multi-purpose roles of helping educate our youth and working to eradicate hunger issues,” Pope added. Smithfield Foundation scholarships for the 2015-16 school year are designated for students attending Fayetteville State, Iowa State, Johnson and Wales, Norfolk State, Paul D. Camp Community College, Virginia Tech, and Virginia Union. Beginning in 2016, scholarships will also be available at North Carolina A&T and North Carolina State.  

For the 2015-16 academic year, there are also 286 students attending Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va., who have received scholarships through the school’s President’s Leadership Program, which the Smithfield Foundation funded.

“These young men and women bring our campus alive with their energy, enthusiasm and intellect and they are highly engaged in the life of our community and the world,” said Paul Trible, president of Christopher Newport University.

Among the other educational programs that the Smithfield Foundation supports is the national Learners to Leaders® education initiative, which currently includes six targeted educational programs that help students advance their education beyond high school in a variety of academic disciplines.

In addition to education, the Smithfield Foundation focuses giving in the areas of food security and hunger issues, including Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes® program; environmental stewardship and animal care.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook’s®, John Morrell®, Gwaltney®, Nathan’s Famous®, Kretschmar®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Carando® and Healthy Ones®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety, and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

About the Smithfield Foundation

First established in 2002, the Smithfield Foundation is a nonprofit organization that acts as the philanthropic wing of Smithfield Foods, Inc. Since its inception, the Smithfield Foundation has been proud to provide educational scholarships to the dependent children and grandchildren of full-time and retired employees of Smithfield. In addition, the Foundation helps fund educational partnerships, environmental projects, animal well-being initiatives, university research, and local projects in the communities where Smithfield’s employees live and work.

CONTACT: CONTACT: Kathleen Kirkham
         Smithfield Foods, Inc.
         (757) 365-1965
         kathleenkirkham@smithfieldfoods.com