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Celebrity Cook Paula Deen and Husband Michael Groover Bring Smithfield Foods' Helping Hungry Homes(TM) Tour to L.A.
Date:2/6/2008

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, which distributes millions of pounds of food to the hungry in Los Angeles County every year, today received more than 30,000 pounds of meat to help feed local families, thanks to Smithfield Foods' 10-city Helping Hungry Homes(TM) Across America tour, an initiative led by celebrity cook Paula Deen.

The tour's goal is to provide one million servings of meat to the nation's hungry families, including those in Los Angeles and surrounding communities. Nearly one in 10 people in the county are at risk of hunger, with children and seniors being disproportionately affected, according to Los Angeles Regional Foodbank statistics.

Deen and her husband Michael Groover, who regularly appears on her Food Network shows, helped employees and volunteers from the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank unload a Smithfield Foods truck carrying more than 30,000 pounds of Paula Deen's Smithfield Crunchy Glazed Spiral Sliced Hams and Gwaltney Smoked Skinless Shankless Hams. The hams will be distributed to food pantries, soup kitchens and community centers throughout Los Angeles County.

"I was shocked to learn how many working hungry there are in America and Michael and I decided that we had to do something about it," Deen said. "I feel so grateful that my partners at Smithfield Foods are helping me deliver enough food to serve one million people across the country."

"We have been able to help feed the hungry in Los Angeles County for the past 35 years thanks to generous donors such as the Deen family and Smithfield Foods," said Michael Flood, president and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. "Smithfield's donation of more than 30,000 pounds of ham provides the essential protein that is so important and in such great demand for preparing nutritious meals for our hungry families."

The Smithfield Foods Helping Hungry Homes tour began in Deen's hometown, Savannah, on January 14, and has now reached Philadelphia, New York City, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Additional scheduled stops include Kansas City, Chicago, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., before concluding in Detroit. Donations are being distributed through local members of America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization.

The Helping Hungry Homes initiative was established to help ensure that American families in need do not go hungry. Smithfield Foods and its independent operating companies have a long history of stocking food banks, supporting after-school nutrition programs and providing food relief in the wake of natural disasters. This 10-city tour will distribute 250,000 pounds of meat products with an estimated retail value of more than one million dollars.

"Although Smithfield Foods has long been a supporter of hunger relief initiatives, we felt the need to help shine a spotlight on an ever-increasing problem for American families," said Dennis Treacy, vice president of environmental and corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods. "Providing hunger relief with Paula Deen and her family through our Helping Hungry Homes initiative will remain a high priority throughout our family of companies," Treacy added.

The Los Angeles Regional Foodbank is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1973 and is one of the largest food banks in the United States. Through a network of nearly 900 charitable agency sites, the Foodbank supplies enough food for over 560,000 meals each week in Los Angeles County. The Foodbank is affiliated with America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest food bank network. For more information, visit http://www.lafoodbank.org.

Smithfield Foods is a global food company with operations in 13 countries through wholly owned subsidiaries and joint ventures. Headquartered in Smithfield, Va., the company produces more than 50 brands of pork, beef and turkey products and more than 200 gourmet foods. Employing more than 57,000 people across the globe, Smithfield Foods is the world's largest producer and processor of pork and a leader in turkey processing, cattle feeding and beef processing.


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SOURCE Smithfield Foods
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