Virginia Tech and Smithfield team up to donate protein to local food bank

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 5:16 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A local food bank, Feeding Southwest Virginia, received more than 30,000 pounds of pork in a donation.

Smithfield partnered with Virginia Tech Athletics to give back in honor of the Commonwealth Clash.

“We’re supporting the food bank with a donation that is the equivalent of $140 thousand if you were to go to the store and purchase it for yourself,” explained Smithfield Senior Community Manager Jonathan Toms. “So, we know it’s going to make a real difference for the clients that they serve.”

It comes at a time when Feeding Southwest Virginia CEO and President Pamela Irvine says donations are down 16 percent. She says protein is rarely donated and is needed for kids’ health.

Irvine says this helps them prepare ahead of the ending of COVID-era emergency snap benefits.

People will no longer receive an extra 80 dollars per snap recipient after March 1.

“They have to sit down and look at their food budgets and when they’re cut they have to look at what they’re cutting,” said Irvine. “And a lot of times they cut the product that would value you know their health. Provide better health first because it’s more expensive.”

The product will be distributed starting Monday. Feeding Southwest Virginia encourages anyone who can to donate.