SMITHFIELD, Va. — Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced the launch of Helping Our Heroes, a new initiative that expands upon the company’s long-standing commitment to honoring the service and sacrifice of American veterans and their families. The program will encompass Smithfield’s three veteran-related focus areas: prioritizing veteran employment and career development; helping power veteran-owned businesses; and strengthening the community and family support systems that veterans rely on every day.
Smithfield has a long history of championing veterans through philanthropic giving as well as through comprehensive support for their transitions back to civilian life. These efforts consist of dedicated veteran hiring, training, retaining and employment initiatives across the company as well as Smithfield Salutes, a veterans’ employee resource group that helps ensure veteran employees are successful in their Smithfield careers. Today, the Smithfield Family includes more than 1,800 veterans across the company’s U.S. operations.
“We maintain a deep and abiding appreciation for our nation’s military veterans at Smithfield,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “Just as the heroes in our Smithfield family have answered the call to maintain the continuity of our food supply throughout the pandemic, we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the men and women who have selflessly served our country. Helping Our Heroes exemplifies that gratitude through expansive support networks as well as exciting career prospects for those who have given so much for our freedom.”
As part of this announcement, Smithfield reaffirmed its commitment to hiring 4,000 military veterans. The company now aims to achieve this target by the end of 2025 by employing key learnings from the last four years. These include working with veteran employment offices to match veterans with a Smithfield job profile, partnering with national veteran career organizations and advisory councils, engaging veteran employees in community outreach efforts and recognizing veteran employees.
Additionally, the company will expand hiring efforts to include military spouses and increase education and training initiatives to ensure that both veterans and their family members are able to achieve their personal and professional goals.
“Military service instills core values of discipline, respect and work ethic. These attributes lend themselves well to any career, but especially here at Smithfield,” said Lisa Swaney, chief human resources officer for Smithfield Foods. “Through Helping Our Heroes, we look forward to welcoming even more veterans and their spouses to the Smithfield Family.”
Helping Our Heroes also underscores Smithfield’s commitment to powering veteran-owned businesses. The company will prioritize working with veteran-owned businesses, in addition to minority-owned and women-owned businesses, across its supply chain. This continued focus will help leverage Smithfield’s purchasing and strategic sourcing to support veteran entrepreneurs.
Further, Smithfield remains dedicated to strengthening community and family support systems for American veterans. This effort will include investments in internal employee resources to help with military-to-civilian life transition as well as giving back to veteran communities.
For more information about Smithfield’s commitment to veterans and its local communities, please visit smithfieldfoods.com/helpingcommunities.
About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 40,000 U.S. and 15,000 European employees are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” and have made us one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including many industry firsts, such as our ambitious commitment to cut our carbon impact by 25 percent by 2025. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our neighbors in need. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.