Foods makes town thrive

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Editor, Smithfield Times

    I disagree with a recent letter to the editor that thinks Smithfield Foods is undermining local businesses. For 80 years, Smithfield Foods has shown its dedication to helping the town of Smithfield thrive. Smithfield Foods and those associated are the biggest reason we have life in our quaint downtown.

    The company’s commitment can most recently be seen through its contribution of more than $1 million to renovate the manor house of Arthur Smith IV, the centerpiece of Windsor Castle Park. Smithfield Foods also gifted property to our town for the construction of a public boat ramp. They also gave considerable money towards our town’s upcoming baseball field construction project, funded public restrooms on Main Street, and renovated and continue to maintain the Taste of Smithfield restaurant. In the 1990s, the company also played a key role in the multi-year revitalization of the historic Main Street corridor.

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    All of these investments improve the quality of life that our town offers to its residents and the experience our town offers to visitors.

    The company has also demonstrated its commitment to helping those less fortunate in our community. This past year, the company’s support of Hog Jog helped the event to raise $15,000 for the Christian Outreach Program, a non-profit consortium of churches that helps those in need through a variety of programs and services. Smithfield Foods also donated 100 hams to the organization during the past holiday season — a small portion of the thousands of pounds of food donated by Smithfield Foods throughout the years.

    These are a few examples that show the company’s commitment to creating a vibrant Smithfield. As we all know, there are two sides to every story, and it is wise to reserve judgment, particularly when we lack all of the facts as it relates to a private business matter. What we do know, however, is that Smithfield Foods has an established, proven history of caring for this community and playing a central role in building a vibrant Smithfield.

George Boomer