Tyson puts its money where its mouth is

by Lawrence Aylward
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SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods Inc. is pledging $50 million in cash and in-kind donations over the next five years in the fight against hunger, with a special focus on innovative initiatives at the local level. The donation comes on the heels of the company donating 100 million lbs. of food over the past 15 years to hunger relief.

Tyson said its commitment builds on its long partnership with hunger relief organizations, including Share Our Strength, Feeding America, and the Food Research and Action Center.
“We know we can’t solve hunger alone,” said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “It’s the organizations and heroes in communities all over the country who are doing the real work. We’re proud to support those who are fighting hunger across the country and shine a spotlight on individuals making a big difference in innovative ways.”

As part of its five-year commitment, Tyson will recognize individuals on the frontlines of fighting hunger in their communities, like Lola Stephens-Bell of Austin, Texas. In a recent documentary-style film, Tyson follows Lola through her weekly routine: running her restaurant where she also serves free meals out the back door, and closing the restaurant four days a week to drive meals to underserved people in Austin.

“We want to tell the stories of people like Lola, people doing extraordinary things where they live and work,” Smith said. “Lola herself has faced hunger and homelessness in the past, and she knows the struggle of feeding a family firsthand. Her hard work helps us realize that hunger faces many of our friends and neighbors, and inspires us to take action.”

According to the USDA, more than 49 million Americans live in food-insecure households, meaning they lack access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.

Donnie Smith's personal and corporate commitment to addressing the hunger crisis is part of a MEAT+POULTRY cover story in the August issue, available here.

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