The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has donated $250,000 to NextUp RVA, an afterschool system for middle school students in Richmond, Virginia which serves to support academic and social development in students through hands-on learning activities. This is the third year the company has contributed to NextUp RVA, and funding for this year will focus on the program’s Sports and Wellness track. Smithfield’s substantial contribution to NextUp RVA is part of the company’s recently announced charitable grant program that aims to address the unique needs of Smithfield’s local communities.
“We are incredibly grateful for Smithfield’s support and their commitment to our youth,” said Barbara Couto Sipe, executive director of NextUp RVA. “Our mission to enhance student progress and ensure a stronger learning culture both inside and outside of the classroom is showing tangible results and we are thrilled to partner with Smithfield for another year!”
Smithfield and NextUp RVA’s partnership will serve to enhance the lives of middle school students and their families through supplemental after school educational programs that support increased school attendance, higher grades in key courses, reduced behavioral incidents, and increased social and emotional well-being. Powered by a joint effort of educators, youth providers, city and school officials, and business and community leaders, Smithfield’s contribution will craft a lasting impact on students participating in NextUp RVA’s after school programs.
“NextUp RVA is a wonderful, results-driven, educational program and we are thrilled to build on our partnership for a third year through our charitable grant program,” said Keira Lombardo, executive vice president of corporate affairs and compliance for Smithfield Foods, and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “Education is one of Smithfield’s core focus areas for giving, as we believe it has the power to dramatically strengthen our communities.”
Smithfield’s substantial donation will be focused on the Sports and Wellness track, NextUp RVA’s most popular offering, where students participate in a wide-range of programs including outdoor adventures, cooking, swimming, team sports, and other exercise. This program track addresses the health of the whole student with the goal of helping them adopt healthy habits that continue throughout their lives.
To learn more about Smithfield’s commitment to its local communities and education, please visit smithfieldfoods.com/helpingcommunities.
About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 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®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, 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 www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
About NextUp RVA
NextUp, powered by a joint effort by educators, youth providers, city and school officials, and business and community leaders, is committed to providing Richmond middle school students with opportunities to continue their learning beyond the school day through a variety of high-quality, coordinated programs to ensure they are productive, engaged and having fun! For more information, visit www.nextuprva.org.