Privately-held US meat processor Cargill has provided three million servings of ground beef, hot dogs and deli meats, as well as 300,000 pounds (lb) of animal feed. The meat has gone to relief agencies, such as the Red Cross and Feeding America, working in flood zones in Houston and surrounding areas.
In addition to food and feed, Cargill donated close to $150,000 to the two charities helping people affected by the most devastating US storm since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“The enormity of the destructive natural force that impacted south Texas this past week, and the resulting images we have seen have been heart-wrenching,” said Brian Sikes, president of Wichita-based Cargill Protein.
“I am truly proud to see how the agriculture sector is coming together to support the community. It is a reflection of our commitment to nourishing people, animals and the planet, especially in times of such great need. We will be providing more than three million servings of easy-to-prepare meats to aid those in need.”
A ‘developing tragedy’
Perdue Farms, a major Maryland-based pork and poultry processor, has also made food available to support disaster relief efforts following what it described as “historic flooding”.
The business has committed to donate at least one million pounds of protein and 68,000lb of dried dog food.
Steve Evans, president of Perdue Foods, said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those people affected by this developing tragedy.
“The images of suffering are heartbreaking and we’re compelled to do our part to help. We hope that our donation will provide some level of comfort to those impacted. We know the recovery process will be long and difficult for many, and Perdue will continue to look for ways to assist.”
Hormel Foods has donated protein-rich food items, including peanut butter, tinned chilli con carne and chicken breasts, as well as the well-known canned meat Spam.
On Saturday 2 September, processor Smithfield Foods donated 300,000lb of protein.
Several days before this in the aftermath of Storm Harvey, one of the country’s biggest meat processors, Tyson Foods, set up a food centre in Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Conroe, Texas, providing free hot meals to flood victims.