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Smithfield Foods partners with Read and Feed program

Smithfield Foods Contributes $60,000 to Bladen County Read and Feed Program

Donation will provide meals and books to more than 3,500 students throughout the summer

SMITHFIELD, Va., July 16, 2019 – The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., announced today a donation of $60,000 to Bladen County Schools Foundation to fund the purchase of a new mobile van for the district’s “Read and Feed” program. The new mobile unit will deliver to more than 3,500 students throughout Bladen County to ensure they have access to free meals and literacy programs that would otherwise be unavailable during summer months. 

“Bladen County Schools is dedicated to supporting our students and providing each individual with the best learning environment possible,” said Robert Taylor, Superintendent for Bladen County Schools. “This generous donation from Smithfield Foods enables us to provide not only summer meals but learning opportunities to students who often do not have access while school is out.”

Nutrition is shown to have a direct impact on students’ academic performance. While more than 3,500 students throughout Bladen County receive free and reduced lunches during the school year, they also lack regular exposure to 21st century career pathways. The summer Read and Feed program encourages students to develop academically, while simultaneously providing nutritious meals to those who need it most once school ends. 

“At Smithfield Foods, we are extremely passionate about ensuring students in our local community have access year-round to educational resources and wholesome meals,” said Donovan Owens, manager of Smithfield Foods’ Tar Heel, North Carolina plant. “With more than 4,500 local employees, and 10,000 across the state, we are eager to support and serve Bladen County students and families through this Read and Feed program sponsorship.”

The Bladen County School Foundation’s mobile Read and Feed unit, sponsored by Smithfield, will deliver hot and cold meals to designated meal sites and eligible K-12 students across Bladen County from June 24 – August 23. For more information on Smithfield’s commitment to helping communities, visit 


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®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. 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, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


About Bladen County Schools Foundation

The Bladen County Schools Educational Foundation supports programs and activities to enhance the excellence in the learning environment in partnership with the schools, recognize distinction in public education, and to strengthen positive community relations. The Foundation serves as the vehicle by which Bladen County’s residents and businesses can contribute to Bladen County’s public schools by funding educational opportunities for students and teachers that fall outside the school system’s operating budget.  

The Mission of the Educational Foundation is to raise funds and promote educational programs for the district via donations from businesses, organizations, corporations, individuals and foundations; to act as a fiscal agent for donors who wish to sponsor projects and/or improvements for the Bladen County Schools, its teachers and students; and receive and disburse funds, property and gifts of any kind exclusively for the educational benefits of the students.

The organization is a public, not-for-profit 501(c)3 exclusively for charitable and educational purposes dedicated to improving education for the students of Bladen County public schools.

Thank you to the following companies for their support of the Read and Feed program and van:

  • Vann Underwood of Vann Underwood Chevrolet, Whiteville, NC
  • Bruce Sykes of Allegra Print and Imaging, Fayetteville, NC - van wrap and graphics
  • Mackie Singletary, III and Derrick Edwards of Lowe's of Lumberton, NC - donated picnic tables, chairs, and umbrellas


Dalton Agency for Smithfield Foods:
Lauren Homrich
(904) 398-5222

Bladen County Schools:
Valerie Newton
(910) 862-4136 ext. 10018