Mountaire Donates Truckload of Chicken
LUMBERTON - Many Robeson County Sheriff's Office staff members lined up by the jail Thursday morning to receive boxes of gratitude, each filled with 40 pounds of chicken donated by Mountaire Farms.
"We just want to take the moment and thank them here in Robeson County for what they do for the community," said Jarrod Lowery, a company Community Relations manager.
Mountaire Farms, which has a processing plant in Lumber Bridge, dropped off 240 boxes for deputies and first responders the Sheriff's Office. In total, 9,600 pounds of chicken were off-loaded from the truck in which it was delivered.
Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said he is grateful for the company's generosity.
"It's much appreciated that Mountaire recognizes the efforts of first responders countywide," Wilkins said.
Sheriff's Office Capt. Joey Hucks, who helped Supply Sgt. Timmy Ivey unload the cases from the food truck and disperse it to staff members in the drive-through line, also expressed his gratitude.
"We appreciate everything from Mountaire," Hucks said. "We thank 'em. We appreciate it."
The Mountaire truck and representatives stopped later at the Lumberton Housing Authority, where more local first responders and representatives from the public housing authorities in Robeson, Bladen and Scotland counties gathered to receive about 726 boxes of chicken, Lowery said. Each family was given one box.
One hundred boxes each were set aside for residents of West and South Lumberton. They were to be distributed by Lumberton City Council members Eric Chavis and Chris Howard.
"Those are the areas that are hardest hit in the communities," Lowery said.
The company wanted to give back to those residents as they continue to recover, he said.
"Our residents benefit from the generosity from Mountaire Farms, which can not be overstated what that means," said Adrian Lowery, Housing Authority of the City of Lumberton director.
Lowery said the partnership with the food processing plant helps them better serve people who need it most.
There were 33.5% of people living in poverty in the city of Lumberton in 2018, according to a 2018 American Community Survey. About 6,981 people of the estimated 20,840 population were living in poverty that year, according to the U.S. Census.
"That's the citizens we serve," he said.
The donation effort was a display of how the housing authorities and other organizations come together and make a difference, said Steven Harrell, Housing Authority chief operations officer.
"This is what we do for a living," Harrell said.
And he is grateful for partnerships that make that possible, Harrell said.
"In times like these, we try to take care of the counties in which we operate," said Mark Reif, a Mountaire Farms Community Relations manager.
The company donated 12,000 pounds of chicken to food banks in Robeson County on March 26, Jarrod Lowery said.
"We have further events planned to continue giving back and supporting the community," he said.
Lowery also said residents should find comfort in the agriculture industry during this time of uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus.
"We are producing meat every day to go in the grocery stores and that is our part in the system," he said.
That production will continue into the foreseeable future, Lowery said. The Lumber Bridge plant makes about 35 million pounds of product each week.
Public housing reps in Robeson, Bladen and Scotland counties also got chicken