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W. Lee Flowers, Smithfield donate 35, 000 pounds of ribs to Harvest Hope
July 20, 2017. Staff Reports. SCNOW.com

FLORENCE, S.C. – Harvest Hope was “blessed” Thursday morning with 35,000 pounds of ribs – a donation from Smithfield Foods and W. Lee Flowers & Company.

The food ultimately will provide approximately 200,000 meals to those in need in the Pee Dee.

“Thirty-five thousand pounds is a huge blessing of protein, good, great meat product,” Harvest Hope chief executive officer Denise Holland said. “This is just a huge blessing.

“Meat is a hard product for us to have. We typically have to purchase it, so we have to use our donor dollars. This comes to us totally as a donation and a great donation to us, especially in the summertime when children are out of school.”

Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief for Smithfield Foods, said the meat “will be something for the folks here in eastern South Carolina to put on the grill and enjoy.”

“A lot of us take that for granted, but a lot of folks don't have the chance to pick what they're going to have to eat,” he said. “They're struggling each and every day to have something to eat. We're hoping that by bringing in this load of ribs, we'll be able to add a little something special to the table of folks here who sometimes don't get the same food that many of the rest of us get.”

Pittman said helping hungry homes has found across the nation that protein is the most difficult thing for food banks to get.

“Smithfield is a protein company,” he said. “We're the largest pork company in the world, so we feel like we have the responsibility, not only to provide food for the chains and grocery stores but also to help out those who may not be able to afford to buy this product in a grocery store.”

Harvest Hope provides roughly 100,000 meals per month in the Pee Dee, Holland said.

“Meat is needed by hungry people, and we have a lot of people to feed in the Pee Dee,” she said.

"I would love it if the community would, one, go to IGA and KJ's markets and support them and Smithfield," Holland said. "Buy your Smithfield products, do that, because all of that comes back through homes for the hungry to help us provide food for hungry people.”

Pittman called on residents to step up to be a food bank volunteer or to have a food drive in their church or neighborhood.

“This is all about people helping people,” he said. “Don't wait for someone else to do it. Smithfield, along with Feeding America Food Banks, needs your help in trying to stamp out hunger in the United States.

Holland also called for donations to Harvest Hope.

“One dollar provides five meals, and 98 cents of every dollar goes directly to feeding hungry people," Holland said of Harvest Hope.

Last Published: July 21, 2017 3:10 PM
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