Cision PR Newswire

Smithfield Foods Donates $1 Million for NC Apprenticeship Program

Company has donated more than $7 million in cash and in-kind food donations in NC this year 

SMITHFIELD, Va., Nov. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Smithfield Foods has donated $1 million to launch the Southeastern Education and Economic Development (SEED) apprenticeship program in North Carolina. A partnership between the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) and Smithfield Foods, SEED is a comprehensive youth apprenticeship program that will provide career pathways and college education for high school students in southeastern North Carolina counties.

"Smithfield is strongly committed to making sure students have educational opportunities that will fuel their careers in the years ahead," said Steve Evans, vice president of community development for Smithfield. "Our goal is to develop the next generation of leaders through supporting education in our communities, and the SEED program is a great way to help these students jump-start their early career development. This is just one of the many ways Smithfield supports our communities in North Carolina and across the U.S."

"Today's high school students are tomorrow's workforce," said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. "Youth apprenticeship programs like the SEED initiative will provide students with an opportunity to learn valuable skills while getting on-the-job training. Our top-tier workforce is the reason North Carolina is ranked the best state for business for two years in a row and we need to ensure they graduate with the necessary skills to be successful in our growing economy."

More information about the SEED apprenticeship program is available here. A press release from Governor Cooper is also available here.

Smithfield's $1 million donation to NCBCE to support the launch of the SEED initiative is part of the company's continuing investment in North Carolina. So far in 2023, Smithfield has donated $2 million and more than 1 million pounds of food valued at more than $5 million to more than 130 nonprofit organizations in North Carolina that support education, fight hunger, protect soil and water resources and assist U.S. veterans.

Some of the many organizations Smithfield supports in North Carolina include:

In addition to its support for local communities in North Carolina, Smithfield provides $2 million to the state every year to fund environmental projects through the North Carolina Department of Justice's Environmental Enhancement Grant program, which began with a voluntary agreement between the Attorney General's Office and Smithfield Foods in 2000.

Through Smithfield's annual funding, the attorney general's office has awarded nearly $43 million to more than 228 environmental projects across North Carolina that have funded the restoration or permanent conservation of more than 31,000 acres of land, wetland restoration, stormwater remediation, stream stabilization, and several environmental education and research initiatives.

About NCBCE
The North Carolina Business Committee for Education NCBCE is a business-led, education non-profit (501-c3) that operates out of the Office of the Governor. Since 1983, NCBCE has provided a critical link between North Carolina business leaders and the state's education and workforce systems to create connections, pilot innovative programs, and support educator professional development.

About the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program
The North Carolina Department of Justice's Environmental Enhancement Grant program began after a 2000 agreement between the Attorney General's Office and Smithfield Foods. Under that agreement, Smithfield provides $2 million to the state every year to be distributed among environmental projects across North Carolina. Including the 2023 grants, the Attorney General's office has awarded nearly $43 million to more than 228 projects in the state. More information is available at https://ncdoj.gov/protecting-the-environment/eeg/.

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is a U.S. food company that employs nearly 60,000 people in seven countries and partners with thousands of American farmers. As one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies, we are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" to feed a growing world population. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in our U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30% across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs in all 50 U.S. states. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Gwaltney® and Nathan's Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit  www.smithfieldfoods.com and connect with us on FacebookX, formerly known as Twitter, LinkedInInstagram and Threads

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SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.

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