DES MOINES, Iowa, Sept. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Smithfield Foods’ Helping Hungry Homes® initiative, a program focused on alleviating hunger and helping Americans become more food secure, joined forces with Hy-Vee Inc. to donate nearly 40,000 pounds of protein to the Food Bank of Iowa. The donation, equivalent to nearly 160,000 servings, will help those fighting hunger across Des Moines and surrounding communities, where one in 175,000 Iowans are food insecure.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/3bf5314e-c723-454d-af35-08ad9131ebcd

“With the help of our generous friends at Smithfield, we’re able to better nourish our community,” said Michelle Book, President & CEO at the Food Bank of Iowa. “As protein is one of the most requested and hard to secure items for food banks, we are incredibly appreciative for this nutritious donation, as it is a vital resource for families in need.”

Smithfield and Hy-Vee representatives presented the donation to the Food Bank of Iowa this morning at an event that raised awareness of hunger’s impact in the local community. Members from all three organizations discussed the significance of protein donations in helping the 175,000 individuals, including one in five children, who face hunger each day in the 55-county region.

“Like Smithfield, Hy-Vee is committed to the well-being of the communities we serve,” said Brian Bieker, Store Director, West Des Moines Hy-Vee Drugstore. “We understand food insecurity is a concern for our community members and are proud to partner with Smithfield in support of the food bank’s efforts to help end hunger in Iowa.”

Smithfield’s donation to the Food Bank of Iowa was a part of the Helping Hungry Homes® 2017 nationwide donation tour. Throughout the annual tour, Smithfield will provide large-scale protein donations to nearly 60 food banks across the country. This donation adds to the more than 65 million servings of protein donated since 2011.

“As a global food company, we recognize our responsibility to relieve hunger and appreciate partnering with others committed to doing the same,” said Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief for Smithfield Foods. “Along with Hy-Vee, today’s donation of delicious protein to thousands in Iowa allows us to further deliver on our dedication to providing for communities in need.”

Following today’s event, Helping Hungry Homes® will visit Boise, ID, Thursday, Sept. 14. For more information about Helping Hungry Homes® and a list of upcoming donation events, visit helpinghungryhomes.com.