Tyson celebrates hunger-relief initiatives

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Tyson Foods Inc. assessed its charitable giving in 1999 and decided that year to focus on fighting hunger in the United States. In May 2000, the company announced its commitment to feed those in need, which, in one decade, has made the company a corporate leader in domestic hunger relief.

During the past decade, the company has donated more than 76 million lbs. of Tyson products to hunger and disaster relief, in addition to engaging its own employees, customers and communities in the fight against hunger. 

"Since 2000, hunger relief has become a significant part of our company’s culture," said Donnie Smith, Tyson Foods president and chief executive officer. "We have donated food in 48 states — including the ones where we have plants — in the past 10 years. I’m proud of the way our Team Members have responded in their own communities. We will continue to fight domestic hunger as we go into our second decade of action."

Tyson Foods has established partnerships with leading hunger relief organizations in the U.S., including Share Our Strength, Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest), and Lift Up America. 

These partnerships include:

  • A six-year sponsorship of Share Our Strength’s Operation Frontline program, which teaches food budgeting/ food preparation skills to people at risk of hunger.
  • More than 50 food bank donation events each year in communities across America designed to raise public awareness of the issue of hunger.
  • Sponsorship of a Student Food Drive, piloted in 18 U.S. communities, which engaged high school students in raising food and funds for their local Feeding America food banks.

Tyson Foods said it has worked diligently to actively engage its 117,000 Team Members in the fight against hunger. Powering the Spirit is the company’s internal program in which Team Members raise money for hunger relief. Seventy-five percent of the money raised goes directly to hunger relief programs in the communities in which it is raised. Twenty-five percent goes to Share Our Strength.

In five years, Tyson Team Members have raised more than $350,000 in an array of fundraising activities.

In addition in 2007, Tyson Foods established an online presence, Tyson Hunger Relief, which includes both a blog and an area wherein users can create recognition for Hunger All-Stars, those in their own communities doing great work in the fight against hunger. The company also manages a Twitter account focusing on hunger, which now has more than 6,500 followers, in addition to a YouTube channel focusing on hunger relief efforts. 

This year, Tyson has been active in advocating for strong reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which funds school lunch programs — the nutritional lifeline for more than 12 million children at risk of hunger, whose primary meal of the day is eaten at school.

In celebrating the company’s 10 years in hunger relief, Tyson Foods will donate more than 1 million lbs. of food during September, which is National Hunger Action Month.

A video about the company’s hunger-relief efforts can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMaeTa7k7FE.

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