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Smithfield Foods and United North Elementary School Partner To Celebrate Outdoor Classroom for Students


Smithfield Foods, Inc. and United North Elementary School have partnered on the construction of a handicap-accessible outdoor learning facility in Alexis, Illinois. The learning facility will be funded with a $26,000 donation from Smithfield’s Monmouth facility using proceeds from materials recycled.

“We are incredibly proud to donate to United North Elementary School for an outdoor classroom utilizing recycling proceeds from our Environmental Program,” said Danny Connerly, assistant plant manager at Smithfield’s Monmouth facility. “Smithfield is committed to supporting environmental educational programs and strengthening our community. We are happy to work with United School District to develop this program, which will benefit many students.”

This project is a result of a parent-teacher organization fundraising survey for projects to improve student learning and experience. It will be used for various activities, including meetings, student yoga sessions, classroom buddy activities, and fine arts classes, and will seat approximately 30 to 35 students.
“This outdoor learning facility will diminish the barriers of learning, allowing students to learn without noise restrictions and in nature,” said Maggie Wallace, principal at United North Elementary School. “It also builds a partnership between our school and our community. We are grateful to Smithfield’s Monmouth facility for their generous donation to provide a positive impact on our students’ education.”
Comprised of seven partial walls, the outdoor learning facility will be completed in Summer 2019 by McKeown Construction. The octagonal classroom will be a pole frame structure clad entirely in aluminum and steel, matching the existing school façade.

Smithfield’s Monmouth facility recycled metals and plastics support this project. The facility is working toward achieving zero-waste to landfill status and is expected to be classified by 2020.

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 with popular brands including 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, and connect with us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

About United North Elementary 
Built in 1969, United North Elementary is located in Alexis, Illinois and serves more than 270 students in grades pre-k through fifth grade. The community, students, and staff of United North Elementary work together to empower students to achieve their full potential by becoming life-long learners and productive members of our world. Learn more here.

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