SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Employees at Tyson Foods and Elanco experienced low-income shopping as part of a joint hunger awareness campaign called the ‘SNAP Challenge’.

More than 46 million Americans receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides low-income people with an average of $25 per person per week. However, SNAP benefits are not enough for some families, who then turn to food pantries and soup kitchens for meals. The SNAP Challenge involved teams from both companies that were given $100 each to shop for a week’s worth of food for a family of four. The teams included Donnie Smith, Tyson president and chief executive officer, and Jeff Simmons, Elanco president.

After shopping, the teams returned to Tyson’s headquarters, where they presented their food purchases to a panel that judged them on criteria such as effective use of funds, nutritional value and culinary creativity. The companies donated the food to the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank and the teams discussed the SNAP Challenge experience, including ways people can get more involved in hunger relief.

“The SNAP Challenge brought us face-to-face with the real-life difficulties too many Americans have feeding their families each week,” Smith said. “It’s just another reason why our company is so committed to fighting hunger and generating more public awareness of hunger in our country.”

The two companies are considering repeating the exercise in other plant communities.

“This exercise re-affirms our belief that no matter who you are, or where you are, you deserve access to safe, nutritious and affordable food every day,” Simmons said. “We believe it’s important for more people to join the fight against hunger and continue utilizing existing technologies and new innovations to help feed a growing population.”