Smithfield Foods and its subsidiary companies, Farmland Foods, John Morrell and Smithfield Packing company, are donating  truckloads of lunchmeat, ice and water to help relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Smithfield officials said that the three entities have started shipping more than 143,000 pounds of ready-to-eat lunchmeat to America's Second Harvest food banks in the Baton Rouge, La., metropolitan area.

The donated meat, along with 80,000 pounds of ice and 32,000, 16-ounce bottles of water are being transported in six Smithfield Foods trucks. At 3 ounces per serving, the lunchmeat will provide about 763,000 sandwiches.

America's Second Harvest is the largest hunger-relief charity in the United States. The not-for-profit organization will be distributing the donated Smithfield items at readily accessible points located along the hurricane's path.

Farmland Foods is shipping 38,000 pounds of sliced ham from its Crete, Neb., and Wichita, Kan., processing plants, and more than 32,000, 16-ounce bottles of water and about 40,000 pounds of ice from its Kansas City, Mo., facility. John Morrell is shipping 40,000 pounds of lunchmeat from its Sioux Falls, S.D., processing plant and 40,000 pounds of ice from its Cumberland Gap Provision Co. facility in Middlesboro, Ky.

In addition, Smithfield Packing Company, in Smithfield, Va., has committed two trailer loads, totalling 65,000 pounds-of lunch meat. The two Smithfield Packing truck drivers-- Nathaniel Johnson and John Humphrey-- volunteered for the assignment because both are from Mississippi and have family members living in the devastated area.

Smithfield Foods also is establishing an assistance program that will collect monetary donations from employees to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. 

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Source: Smithfield Food