Smithfield Foods donates $100K to aid homeless vets
Veteran Homeless Fund offers gap assistance to Virginia veterans
Smithfield Foods Inc. donated $100,000 to to support state government programs for homeless veterans and their families, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday.
The donation from the Smithfield Foundation presented to the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation will be designated to the Veteran Homeless Fund, which provides one-time gap assistance to homeless veterans in the process of being housed and those in danger of becoming homeless.
“Smithfield Foods has been a leader in helping address the challenges faced by veterans who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and we are grateful for their ongoing support and partnership,” Northam said in a statement. “This significant donation will ensure that the commonwealth can continue meeting the housing needs of our veterans and their families, especially amid this unprecedented health crisis.”
The company’s $100,000 donation adds to more than $210,000 in previous donations Smithfield has made since 2016 in support of state programs for homeless veterans and their families.
“At Smithfield, our ongoing commitment to support veterans directly aligns with the mission of Virginia’s Veteran Homeless Fund,” Smithfield Foods President and CEO Kenneth M. Sullivan said in a statement. “We are pleased to provide resources to ensure the continued success of programs to help homeless veterans in our home state of Virginia. We are honored to give back to our nation’s veterans, in honor of their service and sacrifice for all of us.”
Virginia in 2015 became the first state in the U.S. to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans to functionally end veteran homelessness, meaning the commonwealth has systems in place to identify veterans experiencing homelessness and help them secure housing.
“Smithfield’s longstanding and continued commitment to Virginia’s veteran community through its employment of veterans and support for programs to assist veterans and their families is truly inspiring,” Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins said in a statement. “Donations like this one are especially important as we face the additional financial and health challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Veteran Homeless Fund helped nearly 200 veterans and their families move into permanent housing and allowed previously homeless veterans to remain in their homes this fiscal year. Since its 2016 inception, the fund has helped more than 900 Virginia veterans.
Based in Smithfield, agriculture giant Smithfield Foods was founded in 1936 and employs more than 40,000 people in the U.S.