All Smithfield Foods processing facilities and farms in North Carolina have returned to normal operations, the company said Oct. 20. While floodwaters reached lagoons on three Smithfield contract farms following the historic flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew, there have been no reports of lagoon breaches or failures on company-owned or contract farms as a result of this flooding.
The storm brought flood levels not seen in nearly 500 years as well as unmatched transportation challenges, including a 10-day closure of both Interstate 95 and Interstate 40. Matthew caused widespread devastation to communities across the eastern half of the state.
“We are deeply grateful to our more than 10,000 employees across North Carolina who have been affected by this disaster but have remained committed to our operations, customers and consumers,” Smithfield said. “We've provided warm meals, transportation and activated our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to assist employees.”
Smithfield's EAP provides support to employees and their families during challenging times and includes services such as counseling sessions, legal consultations, family and caregiver assistance as well as other resources.
"The effects of this storm were severe, and I could not be more proud of our North Carolina employees and their response in the face of adversity," Kenneth Sullivan, Smithfield president and chief executive officer, said. "I am thankful to be a part of the Smithfield family and proud that we are able to provide support to the entire area as they begin to pick up the pieces."
Through its Helping Hungry Homes hunger relief initiative, Smithfield also provided more than 75,000 lb. of protein to local food banks and will continue to provide additional protein to other affected areas in the coming weeks. Beyond food donations, the company also pledged to provide $25,000 to the American Red Cross in North Carolina to further support its employees and communities during this challenging time and throughout the recovery.