On Friday, the United Nation’s World Food Program was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The program was recognized for its role in addressing a growing food security challenge worldwide, including a surge in the number of victims of hunger caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and related food supply chain disruptions.
According to Nobel Committee Chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen, “Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos.”
Last week, Smithfield sent a letter to local, state and federal leaders calling for prioritization of COVID-19 vaccine distribution to food and agriculture workers, along with the country’s healthcare workers and first responders.
“Food and agriculture workers are heroes. They have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, ensuring Americans have access to safe, nutritious and affordable food, and they should be at the front of the line for a COVID-19 vaccine as well….This prioritization will ensure that our employees remain as healthy and safe as possible so that Americans continue to have food,” Smithfield wrote.
Additionally, the company is calling for the establishment of an Inter-Agency Commission for the Continuity of America’s Food Supply, comprised of representatives from various government agencies, the White House, state government and industry participants, in addition to a bipartisan congressional coalition to examine potential threats to our nation’s food supply.