RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday that Smithfield Foods, Inc.’s philanthropic arm, The Smithfield Foundation, donated $150,000 towards state programs for homeless veterans and their families.
According to a release from Northam’s office, the donation will be given to the Homeless Veteran Fund, a program established in 2016 by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and the Virginia Veterans Service Foundation. The Homeless Veteran Fund provides one-time gap assistance to homeless veterans in the process of being housed and those in danger of becoming homeless.
Smithfield’s donation to the fund is not its first. The company donated $68,000 when the fund was established.
Virginia became the first state in the nation to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to functionally end veteran homelessness in 2015. The Homeless Veteran Fund has assisted more than 700 veterans since it began.
“With nearly one in 10 Virginians having worn a uniform, our Commonwealth is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the country, and we owe it to our Virginia veterans to ensure they have a safe place to live,” Northam said. “We are grateful for our ongoing partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies, and the financial support of generous donors like Smithfield Foods that enables us to meet the needs of the more than 730,000 veterans living in Virginia and make sure that veteran homelessness in our Commonwealth is rare, brief, and non-recurring.”