Smithfield donates meat to Sandy victims
SMITHFIELD, Nov 10, 2012 (Menafn - The Virginian-Pilot - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Smithfield Foods driver Richard Lipiro was scheduled to attend his daughter's 18th birthday party this weekend. But when the New York City native heard about Smithfield's plans to donate meat to superstorm Sandy victims in lower Manhattan, the place of his childhood, he jumped at the chance to deliver it himself.
"I spent 35 years of my life there," Lipiro said. "It's a little close to home."
Smithfield partnered with the United Food and Commercial Workers union to provide 1 million quarter-pound servings of hot dogs and lunch meat to people affected by last week's storm. Lipiro was one of seven drivers who left Friday morning on the drive to food banks in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Each truck is carrying about 20 tons of meat, said Dennis Pittman, a company spokesman.
This isn't Lipiro's first charity drive, he said. During his two years with Smithfield, he's delivered donations to Illinois, Pennsylvania and California, among other places. This will be Lipiro's sixth donation run, he said.
"I like seeing the faces on some of these people when you deliver the food, knowing that there's something on the truck for each and every one of them," he said.
Lipiro's trips to help people in need have taken him to parts of the nation he never thought he'd visit, he said.
"There's so much to see in your own country."
In a campaign to reduce hunger in the United States, Smithfield and the United Food and Commercial Workers union have donated about 120 trucks of food across the country over three years, Pittman said. That's 17.5 million servings, he said.
Union spokeswoman Nicky Coolberth said the donations are especially useful to charitable organizations.
"It's meat; it's protein," she said. "Food banks really need that."
Katie Moritz, 757-222-5217, email@example.com
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