Commonwealth Clash feeds in-state rivalry and western Virginia families

A donation from Smithfield to two food banks will help feed hundreds of families in western...
A donation from Smithfield to two food banks will help feed hundreds of families in western Virginia.(wdbj7)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 7:20 PM EST
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - The rivalry between Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia will generate plenty of excitement this weekend on the football field.

It’s also putting food on the table for many families in western Virginia.

The Hokie Bird was on hand at Feeding Southwest Virginia Tuesday morning, as Smithfield delivered a truckload of ham.

The company is a presenting sponsor of the Commonwealth Clash. The donation includes 40,000 pounds, and more than 160,000 servings for Feeding Southwest Virginia. A second truck was headed to the food bank that serves the Charlottesville area.

“We know from talking with the food banks that protein is oftentimes one of the most difficult and one of the most expensive resources for them to obtain,” said Jonathan Toms, Community Development Manager with Smithfield Foods.

“One of the constants within our relationship with Smithfield is a common belief in making an impact in our local community,” added Sam Schauf, Director of Business Development for Virginia Tech Sports Properties.

The Smithfield donation comes as food banks across the country face major challenges, including rising food prices, increasing demand, and significant supply chain issues.

Pamela Irvine is the CEO of Feeding Southwest Virginia.

“Even if we get donations to buy food, trying to get the food into our system, into our warehouse and out through our charitable programs is very difficult right now,” Irvine told WDBJ7.

Irvine said that’s one reason a truckload of ham, and the support of partners like Smithfield and Virginia Tech, is so important.

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