Smithfield Foods donates $68K to state programs for homeless vets

Smithfield Foods (WAVY File Photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Smithfield Foods has donated $68,000 to support state programs for homeless veterans.

Governor Terry McAuliffe honored the company Friday during a special ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial. The donation will go toward the Veterans Services Foundation in support of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS).

“The success of the DVS Homeless Veteran Program has exceeded all expectations.  This success is attributed to the ongoing partnership between federal, state, regional and local agencies and to the support of donors like Smithfield Foods,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The community partners and agencies within the Homeless Continuum of Care recognize that not all of the financial needs of homeless veterans can be met through government resources, and that donated funds can fill important gaps.”

Over the past four years, DVS has worked with federal, state, and local partners to improve services for homeless veterans. This coordination has helped identify homeless veterans and allowed agencies serving homeless vets to make quick connections to housing resources.

In 2015, Virginia was certified by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as the first state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness. Over 3,000 veterans have been placed in permanent housing since October 2014.

“At Smithfield Foods, our ongoing commitment to support veterans directly aligns with the DVS Homeless Veteran Program’s mission, and we are proud to provide resources to ensure this program’s continued success,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods. “We are proud to play a role in this program, which allows us to give back to our nation’s service members and marks the beginning of a unique public-private partnership.”