CHICAGO, May 04, 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 Jewel-Osco to donate more than 130,000 pounds of protein to two Chicagoland food banks. The Greater Chicago Food Depository and Northern Illinois Food Bank received the donation, equivalent to more than 520,000 servings, which will help families fight hunger across Northern Illinois where one in seven individuals are food insecure.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

“We are grateful to Smithfield for its active role in the fight against hunger,” said Sheila Creghin, vice president of operations for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “This donation will provide much-needed, nutritious protein to those we serve, ensuring our neighbors have the food they need to live healthy lives.”

Smithfield and Jewel-Osco representatives presented the donation to both food banks at the event this morning. Members from all three organizations discussed food insecurity in the local community and the significance of this donation in helping the more than one million individuals who face hunger each day in northern Illinois.

“Protein is a resource often limited to those we serve, but is an essential part of a healthy diet,” said Julie Yurko, president and CEO of Northern Illinois Food Bank. “Our food bank is thrilled to accept this generous donation from Smithfield and Jewel-Osco, which will feed thousands of people in coming weeks.”

Smithfield’s donation to the Greater Chicago Food Bank and the Northern Illinois Food Bank was a part of the Helping Hungry Homes® 2017 nationwide donation tour. Throughout the annual tour, Smithfield will visit food banks coast-to-coast to deliver high-quality protein to food banks, joining forces with retail partners along the way.

“At Jewel-Osco, one of our main priorities is to do our part to help alleviate hunger and reduce food insecurity by working within our local community,” said Doug Cygan, president of Jewel-Osco. “We share this passion with Smithfield, and are honored to stand here today and provide valuable protein to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Northern Illinois Food Bank.”

This year, Smithfield will provide several million pounds of protein to more than 50 food banks across the country. This donation adds to the more than 65 million servings of protein donated since 2011.

“Today, Smithfield is proud to partner with Jewel-Osco once again to deliver a large-scale protein donation to these two key Illinois food banks,” said Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief for Smithfield Foods. “As an active partner in the fight against hunger, we are honored to provide wholesome protein to families and individuals throughout Northern Illinois.”

Following today’s event, Helping Hungry Homes® will visit Lafayette, Indiana before travelling to Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information about Helping Hungry Homes® and a list of upcoming donation events, visit

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $14 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield, Eckrich, Nathan's Famous, Farmland, Armour, John Morrell, Cook's, Kretschmar, Gwaltney, Curly's, Margherita, Carando, Healthy Ones, Krakus, Morliny and Berlinki. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit

About Jewel-Osco
JEWEL-OSCO operates 186 stores in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana.  With a market-leading position in Chicago, JEWEL-OSCO stores offer consumers the convenience of retail grocery and pharmacy services.  Originally established in 1899, the company and its associates remain committed to the communities they serve.  For more information about JEWEL-OSCO, visit or

About Greater Chicago Food Depository
The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. The Food Depository, founded in 1979, makes a daily impact across Cook County with a network of 700 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children’s programs, older adult programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 70 million pounds of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 160,000 meals every day. For more information, visit or call 773-247-FOOD.

About Northern Illinois Food Bank
Northern Illinois Food Bank leads the Northern Illinois community in solving hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships. Since 1983, food manufacturers, local grocers, corporations, foundations, and individuals have come together to donate food and funds, and evaluate and repack food for distribution to 800 community food pantries and feeding programs serving more than 71,500 hungry neighbors each week across 13 counties. That commitment provided 62.5 million meals to those in need in FY16. Northern Illinois Food Bank has received a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 13 consecutive years. Find out how you can Volunteer, Donate and Get Involved at, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Northern Illinois Food Bank is a member of Feeding America. 

Media Contacts:

Dalton Agency for Smithfield
Kaytee Allaben
(904) 226-9890

Greater Chicago Food Depository
Paul Morello
(630) 306-1064

Northern Illinois Food Bank 
Elizabeth Gartman 
(630) 443-6910 ext. 142
Mary Frances Trucco
(224) 234-2825