Chicken processing companies operating in North and South Carolina are currently assessing damage to their operations as a result of Hurricane Florence, even while they work to help their employees and others of those in need that have been impacted by the hurricane.


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. The Lumber Bridge, North Carolina 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.

Mountaire reached out to help those impacted by the hurricane by filling two trucks, one with emergency supplies and another with 40,000 pounds of chicken from 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 as working with other non-profits to help the region,” said Chief Operating Officer Phillip Plylar. ”Mountaire Farms, a leading chicken producer on Delmarva, partnered with volunteer-based non-profit Operation BBQ Relief in their efforts at helping the community. “Our partnership with Operation BBQ Relief will help thousands and we are proud to help those in need.

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.

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

Sanderson Farms

Sanderson Farms, Inc. on Wednesday reported that it continues to assess damage to its North Carolina assets and live production infrastructure caused by Hurricane Florence. The company is pleased to report that it has still received no report of serious injuries or loss of life among its employees and growers. However, many employees and growers have lost homes and property, and in some cases are being housed in shelters.

Sanderson Farms reported earlier this week that it did not experience any significant damage to either of its processing facilities, feed mill or hatcheries in North Carolina. The Kinston, North Carolina, processing plant resumed one shift of operations on Tuesday, September 18. Many roadways in and around Lumberton and St. Pauls, North Carolina, remain impassable and are closed. The company will resume operations at its St. Pauls processing plant once it is safe for employees to navigate roads and highways.

On Monday, Sanderson said “out of 880 poultry houses in North Caroline, 60 have flooded.  Another six houses experienced damage and will be unable to house broilers until repairs are made.”

Sanderson also said there were four chicken breeder houses affected in north Carolina by the flooding and 33 pullet houses with young hens were found to have “serious damage.”  Still, Sanderson said it “does not believe the loss of housing capacity will affect its ongoing operations, as it can shorten layouts and take other temporary measure to compensate for these looses.”

Sanderson Farms will continue to do whatever possible to help those who have been displaced. While the company is pleased its employees and growers have remained safe, the company said it deeply regrets the loss of animals under its care. Although the company and family farmers who care for its chickens did everything possible to prevent the loss of birds, the unprecedented rainfall from Hurricane Florence caused serious flooding that affected the company’s live grow out operations.

“I continue to be pleased that our people remained safe during this catastrophic storm,” said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc. “Those who have been displaced, lost their homes or had their lives disrupted will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers, and we will do whatever we can to help them recover from this storm,” said Joe F. Sanderson.

The company continues to assess the extent of damage to its independent contract farms and the loss of live birds. Current information indicates that 70 broiler houses out of 880 in North Carolina have flooded. Those farms housed 2.1 million chickens. Of that number, 1.35 million were in the company’s St. Pauls, North Carolina, big bird deboning division, and 755,000 birds were associated with the Kinston, North Carolina, tray pack division. The company has been able to reach most of the farms previously isolated by flood waters to ensure adequate care and feed is available to the chickens on those farms.

Perdue Farms

In response to historic flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, Perdue Farms is sending truckloads of food and the Perdue Chicken Food Truck to the Carolinas, along with donations to local American Red Cross chapters, to help residents and recovery efforts in the communities impacted by this disaster.

“The losses endured by thousands of Carolinians, including many of our associates, farmers and their families, is heartbreaking. It hits close to home,” said Randy Day, CEO of Perdue Farms. “We hope our contributions will speed the recovery process in the region.”

Perdue is working with Feeding America® to deliver a half million pounds of food— the equivalent of 416,000 meals — to local member food banks in the Carolinas. Perdue will have its first truckloads rolling into the region by next Monday.

Perdue is also redeploying its PERDUE® food truck from other appearances to hard hit Lumberton, North Carolina to help provide much-needed meals for victims and first responders. The food truck team is expected to begin serving meals this weekend. The company has also provided ice to assist relief efforts during power outages.

Perdue also announced a $250,000 donation through the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the company’s charitable giving arm, to American Red Cross chapters in the region. “As we continue to look for ways to assist with relief, our thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected by this tragedy,” said Day.

Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods said on Tuesday that it had only “minimal impact” to its live poultry operations in North Carolina and Virginia from the hurricane.  “Two farms in Fayetteville, North Carolina, were affected and we are leveraging our regional supply chain to ensure there is not disruptive to business,” said company spokesman Worth Sparkman.  “We’re helping the affected farmers.”

In response to flooding, Tyson Foods has sent teams to prepare meals for those affected by the disaster. A cook site was set up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, at the Walmart store. Free, hot meals were provided onsite beginning Thursday morning for anyone who was in need. In addition, a distribution network will be established with local authorities and disaster relief organizations to deliver meals to flood victims in the Fayetteville area.

Teams from Tyson Foods’ operations in Clarksville, and Texarkana, Arkansas; Claryville, Kentucky; New Holland, Pennsylvania; Shelbyville, Tennessee and Glen Allen, Virginia,  arrived onsite on Wednesday and begin preparations to serve meals on Thursday.

The company’s Meals that Matter mobile disaster relief truck was sent from its home in Springdale, Arkansas, and arrived onsite on Wednesday. The company is sending three tractor-trailer loads of product totaling 100,000 pounds, one tractor-trailer load of bagged ice and one tractor-trailer load of bottled water.

“With more than 6,000 team members throughout the state of North Carolina, the damage left by Hurricane Florence hits close to home,” said Debra Vernon, senior director, corporate social responsibility. “This deployment would not be possible without the support of our team members, disaster relief partners and customers who are all volunteering time and resources to make sure our response is as successful as possible.”

Tyson Foods will be working closely with its disaster relief partners American Egg Board, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Harris Baking Co., Hugg & Hall Equipment Co., Peppersource and Salvation Army to maximize relief efforts.

Team Rubicon, another disaster relief partner comprised of military veterans, has deployed two Mobile Command Centers to North Carolina. The command centers were donated by Tyson Foods in 2014 and 2017 and include sleeping quarters, as well as office and storage space for Team Rubicon’s staff and volunteers.