KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On Sept. 26, Tyson Foods and Feeding America announced the results of the Tyson Foods Protein Innovation Fund.
The two-year project provided $1 million to 10 Feeding America food banks located across nine states. The goal was to fund a protein sourcing project that could be replicated across other locations. The investment led to more than 1.1 million lbs. of protein sourced and distributed in the first two years of the project or 4.5 million servings.
“For the 40 million people facing hunger in the US, it’s not only important for Feeding America to help provide enough food to meet basic needs, but also to provide more nutritious food,” said Matt Knott, president of Feeding America. “We are grateful for Tyson Foods’ continued partnership with Feeding America and their dedication to increasing access to protein-rich meals that many food insecure families need to have a well-balanced diet.”
Some of the projects included awarding $175,000 to the Arkansas Food Bank in Little Rock. The food bank served as the leading example for the program and created a centralized, cold repackaging center. In this system meat and poultry donations, as well as frozen produce are repacked into smaller portions and distributed to Feeding America food banks around Arkansas.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma received $50,000 to fund an on-site repack room and secure FFA donations to create protein snack sticks and distribute protein foods in backpacks to food insecure children. Almost 250,000 lbs. of protein were sourced for this project.
Finally, in Florida, Feeding Tampa Bay was awarded $50,000 to hire a full-time staff member to identify and pursue sources of wasted food in the local supply chain. As a result, more than 430,000 lbs. of protein was rescued and redirected back into the community.
“We knew our food banks had innovative ideas about how to help our hungry neighbors access more protein,” said Matt Pakula, senior manager, corporate social responsibility Tyson Foods. “The protein innovation fund grants made it possible for them to experiment and make their food banks more agile to better meet the needs of those struggling with food insecurity.”