Simmons Foods' Van Buren Prepared Food facility, which is quite noticeable to anyone crossing the Arkansas River, has implemented new policies.


In a press release Thursday, March 26, Simmons Foods announced that as a critical infrastructure industry, Simmons recognizes the importance of ensuring adequate food supplies during this crisis while also working to keep their team members safe.


"We understand this is a challenging time for our team members and their families and we are continuing to monitor the latest updates and guidance related to COVID-19. As this situation evolves we are taking steps to protect our team members and ensure our facilities are sanitized, healthy and safe places to work," said Todd Simmons, CEO of Simmons Foods, Inc. and its affiliates.


Measuresn that Simmons Foods has implemented in this effort include suspending all non-essential travel, restricting facility access to essential food production team members only, and limiting people moving between facilities.


To further protect those working in food production, team members who can work remotely are currently working from home.


Simmons continues to raise awareness among team members about the prevention of COVID-19, the signs and symptoms, and the critical importance of staying home when they are sick or have a fever. The company also asks team members to notify them prior to reporting for work if they have been in close contact with anyone who has the virus.


As a food company, Simmons is always diligent about sanitation processes and has redoubled efforts in each of its facilities to conduct thorough and frequent cleaning and disinfection of common areas and frequently touched surfaces such as breakrooms, restrooms, offices, door knobs, microwaves and time clocks to help keep team members safe.


Trained health professionals are present in its production facilities and the company provides access to medical services for team members and their families, with no out-of-pocket cost, through its network of Simmons Care Clinics.


In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic and state and federal Declarations of a State of Emergency, Simmons has established a new Emergency Leave of Absence policy for its team members which has been in effect since March 20.


Highlights of the new Emergency Leave of Absence Policy, subject to each team member’s eligibility, include additional leave of absence options, job protection and up to two weeks paid leave.


Simmons Foods employs more than 7,000 people in North America. They are a vertically-integrated, leading supplier of poultry, pet food and feed ingredient solutions headquartered in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Founded in 1949 in Arkansas, the company and its affiliates remain a privately-owned and family-led business.


Pet food donation


On Wednesday, March 25, Simmons Pet Food donated over 30,000 pounds of dry pet food to shelters and other organizations that work with seniors and other individuals who need assistance feeding their pets.


"In difficult times like this, we’re reminded how comforting it is to have the companionship of a pet," comments Scott Salmon, President of Simmons Pet Food. "We salute the organizations that are helping to care for the people and pets in need in our communities. As a company with the purpose of making quality food for the families and pets we love, we believe this an important time to rally around our communities and do all we can to support them."


The donation and distribution, to over a dozen locations in the region, was organized with the assistance of HARK of Northwest Arkansas and the Endeavor Foundation. Learn more about these organizations at collaboratenwa.com and www.endeavorfoundation.net.


Simmons Foods did not respond as to whether or not pet food was donated anywhere in Fort Smith, Van Buren, or immediately surrounding areas.


Simmons Pet Food is a leading North American private-label and contract manufacturer of wet and dry pet food and treats. For more information on Simmons Foods, Inc. and its affiliates, please visit, simmonsfoods.com.