KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WBIR) -- Smithfield has agreed to donate 40,000 pounds of pork salvaged from a tractor trailer accident to a food bank, says Second Harvest. The USDA inspected and cleared the meat for use.
On Sunday, the Knoxville Police Department asked both Second Harvest Food Bank, of Maryville, and The Salvation Army to help it collect packaged meat from a tractor trailer that had flipped on the ramp to the James White Parkway from I-40 West.
While Elaine Streno, executive director of the Second Harvest Food Bank, said she was thankful that no one was injured in the incident, the whole experience turned out to be a "gift" to her organization.
"I would say it would probably provide about 40,000 meals for the next two or three weeks," she said.
But, Second Harvest learned on Monday, it would have to wait before it could send the meat to any of its partner non-profit agencies. Both the trucking company and the meat company, Smithfield, asked that it not distribute the meat.
"We feel like there was a glitch in the communication between the trucking company and the meat company because it [the accident time] was 10 a.m. on a Sunday," Streno said. "But, we had been given approval by the drivers to come pick this stuff up."
Streno said Smithfield was generous to Second Harvest in the past and remained optimistic it would let her non-profit agency keep the meat for distribution.
Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM) near downtown Knoxville also waited to see if it would receive some of the meat. KARM is partnered with Second Harvest.
KARM spokesperson Sue Renfro said her agency will be fine.
"We have many tremendous partnerships," Renfro said. "So, regardless of the circumstances or events, we're very grateful for everything we receive."