Mountaire Farms donates 40,000 pounds of chicken to Operation BBQ Relief

MILFORD — Hurricane Florence forced the closure of a Mountaire Farms facility in North Carolina for three and a half days over the weekend as flood waters rose.

But Mountaire Farms knew the damages would reach far beyond their own operations.

Two trucks, one with emergency supplies and another with 40,000 pounds of chicken, exited U.S. Cold Storage in Milford Wednesday afternoon to help with hurricane relief.

“Our own facilities in North Carolina have been impacted by this storm, and some of our own employees are suffering. We are reaching out to help them, as well was working with other non-profits to help the region,” said Chief Operating Officer Phillip Plylar. “This partnership with Operation BBQ Relief will help thousands and we are proud to help those in need.”

The Lumber Bridge, N.C. facility fully reopened Tuesday. Mountaire Farms also has another processing facility, feed mills, farms, grain elevators and a hatchery located throughout North Carolina, some which were greatly affected by the hurricane.

“Some employees have lost everything. I think this hits home because it could have been us. The giving spirit is strong,” Director of Communications and Community Relations Cathy Bassett said.

Ron Longhany, Montaire Farms’ U.S. cold storage general manager and truck driver Mike Crockett stand in front of a packed truck
that will be heading to North Carolina to help feed victims of Hurricane Florence.

Mountaire Farms, a leading chicken producer on Delmarva, partnered with volunteer-based non-profit Operation BBQ Relief in their efforts at helping the community.

Once the donations reach one of two locations where Operation BBQ Relief is stationed, the organization will cook up to 50,000 meals a day in bulk. Local first responders, shelter volunteers, school officials and others connected to impacted communities will then pick up meals to be distributed at various locations.

“Their immediate needs were chicken and ice,” she said. “We’re happy to be providing protein to the people of North Carolina. Operation BBQ Relief mobilizes in times of need. What they do is impressive and incredible down there. We’ve obviously been watching things closely in North Carolina. We know needs will be great for food and emergency supplies. That’s why we want to act.”

Emergency supplies were donated, in part, by Mountaire Farms’ employees on the Delmarva peninsula to include bottled water, diapers, blankets and other needed items.

“It’s more than a one-day effort down there in North Carolina. It’s going to be the long haul,” Ms. Bassett said. “It’s a matter of neighbor helping neighbor and employee to employee.

“We’ve been down there a long time. We have a long history of giving back to the community. It’s all pretty impressive to watch.”

 

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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