Smithfield Foods Sponsors Financial Aid Advisors in Isle of Wight County, Virginia Through GRASP
SMITHFIELD, Va., September 30, 2019 — The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., announced today a partnership with GRASP (Great Aspirations Scholarship Program, Inc.) to support financial aid advising services at Smithfield and Windsor High Schools in Isle of Wight County, Virginia for the 2019-2020 academic year. The company’s $30,000 contribution will enable GRASP to provide students with free, confidential, one-on-one college-access advising that assists students and families in obtaining funding for post-secondary education.
“Smithfield’s contribution is providing our education system with a phenomenal service,” said Dr. Jim Thornton, Superintendent for Isle of Wight County Schools. “We encourage continuing education as our students look toward graduation, and, through GRASP, they now have direct access to learn more about the opportunities available to them.”
“It is important for high school students to have access to information about education beyond high school, and we’re pleased to bring our services to Isle of Wight County,” said Ken Barker, CEO for GRASP. “Our goal is to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity for continuing education after high school, regardless of financial or social circumstances. With Smithfield’s support, we can provide students with the encouragement and hands-on help from GRASP advisors to navigate the financial aid process and understand the options for continued education.”
The GRASP program provides dynamic, life-changing support services to students and their families, helping students that partner with a GRASP advisor obtain nearly $13,000 in financial aid, on average. Smithfield’s contribution will provide more than 420 seniors at Smithfield and Windsor High Schools with access to advising services.
“Smithfield Foods is pleased to partner with GRASP to support students in our area in the attainment of their post-secondary goals,” said Keira Lombardo, executive vice president of corporate affairs and compliance for Smithfield Foods, and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “Education is one of our key focus areas for giving at Smithfield because we know that it has the power to dramatically strengthen our communities over the long run.”
Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia for more than 80 years, the company regularly supports innovative educational programs and scholarships for area students as part of its social purpose. More information about Smithfield’s commitment to education is available in the company’s 2018 Sustainability Report.
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. Popular brands include 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.
GRASP believes in expanding students’ opportunity to learn. It is a non-profit, charitable, college-access organization that assists students and families in obtaining funding for post-secondary education. The mission is to help students and their families, regardless of their financial resources and at no charge to them, develop an educational plan by assisting, awarding, inspiring, and supporting students in the Isle of Wight County community. GRASP strives to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity for continuing education after high school, regardless of financial or social circumstances. For more information, visit https://grasp4va.org/home.