Smithfield Foods gave a major contribution of 30,000 pounds of protein to Serving Southwest Virginia on Friday.
The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech set their disagreements behind to collaborate with Smithfield to assist their hometowns as part of the Commonwealth Clash rivalry games.
Bud Foster, a legend at Virginia Tech, claimed it’s an accomplishment.
“I believe it represents a big statement for these 2 universities to work together for a larger cause to assist the people and food insecurities,” stated Foster.
This donation comes as additional food assistance provided during the pandemic is about to end for families in Virginia. Those additional SNAP benefits will be discontinued on March 1. People will now have less money each month to spend on food—at least $95 less.
According to Pamela Irvine, president, and chief executive officer of Feeding Southwest Virginia, many of those families do not have numerous possibilities to receive additional funding.
According to Irvine, individuals with fixed incomes, such as the elderly, will be most heavily damaged by the change.
Irvine stated, “We’re working to get ready to meet that need. So, this is now really difficult.”
The demand for food in this region of the Commonwealth is already larger. 7.7% of Virginians experience food insecurity. In 4 of the counties, the food bank serves in Southwest Virginia, over 19% of families experience food insecurity.
As donations to Feeding Southwest Virginia are dropped 16%, it’s not just families that are having trouble. The warehouse was filled at this time the previous year. Now, it is full of empty shelves.
According to Irvine, “We are struggling to get food, exactly like many of our neighbors,” he added. Therefore, this donation is crucial.