Smithfield Culinary, the foodservice division of Smithfield Foods, the nation’s leading pork processor, has donated $25,000 to the Ferdinand Metz American Culinary Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to chefs, culinarians, and foodservice workers across America who are experiencing hardship in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has impacted all industries, but the foodservice industry may be one of the hardest hit. With approximately 14 million people in America employed by the foodservice industry, a staggering number of individuals have been laid off, furloughed, or have had their hours reduced. Smithfield Culinary was moved to support their industry partners by reducing the financial impact on individuals and their families who are suffering severe economic consequences of this crisis.
One hundred percent of the Ferdinand Metz ACF Relief Fund’s proceeds will go to providing grants to foodservice workers. All foodservice industry employees may apply for a grant regardless of their segment, and $500 grants will be given directly to qualified individuals on a first-come first-served basis.
“The ingenuity and determination we’ve seen from restaurant employees has been nothing short of amazing,” says Ed Wayda, senior brand manager for Smithfield Culinary. “We hope the grants will lessen the burden we know many are experiencing due to the Coronavirus.”
Smithfield Culinary has partnered with the American Culinary Federation (ACF), a nationally recognized professional organization for chefs and cooks, for many years and most recently announced a two-year extension of the partnership. Smithfield Culinary will hold a Master Chef level sponsorship with the ACF, helping to bring together 15,000 culinary professionals across 170 chapters and 4 regions in the U.S. As the largest and most prestigious organization of professional chefs in North America, the ACF will execute culinary events with the help of Smithfield Culinary to further educate chefs about the benefits of incorporating pork and other protein products into their culinary creations.
“Our continued partnership with Smithfield Culinary reinforces the strong commitment that both our organizations have to the culinary community,” says Stafford DeCambra, president of the American Culinary Federation. “Smithfield’s contribution to the Ferdinand Metz Relief Fund is yet another way we’re working together to champion the advancement of foodservice professionals.”
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