By Ed Nicholson
We had a great event in Chicago Monday, where Tyson Foods, Feeding America and Lift Up America were joined by the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Food Depository in announcing the donation of one million pounds of Tyson products to some Feeding America food banks to help them get through the holiday season.
That sounds like a lot of food–and it is–but it’s barely a beginning to meet the need that’s out there; need that never subsides, and is growing worse as our economy generates new challenges.
With more than 36 million people at risk of hunger, it’s going to take the collaborative efforts of a lot of different groups–agencies that compete for resources, and companies that compete for markets–putting aside their competitive differences and resolving to address this enormous challenge.
It was encouraging to see so many groups working together yesterday: The CFD, which serves an enormouos and challenging population in Chicagoland. The Bulls, a storied franchise, and incredibly powerful brand. Feeding America, which unites the largest network of food banks in the world. And Lift Up America, which in just five short years, has brought together some of the most influential business people in the U.S., for the purpose of effecting social change.
Many, many people deserve personal thanks for their efforts, but we especially want to thank Dave Hannah and his crew at Lift Up America, notably Jaan Heinmetz and Ted Gandy (Here’s Life Inner City); Dave Kurland from the Bulls for bringing so many things together, including players, for this event; the Chicago Food Depository, who brought together volunteers who worked cheerfully in the bitter cold to distribute food to Chicago agencies; and our own rockstars, the Tyson transportation group and drivers, who pulled this together in an incredibly short time.
Sports teams involved in the donations include
Chicago ( Bulls)
Kansas City (Chiefs)
San Diego (Chargers)
Boise (Boise State)
Austin (University of Texas)
San Jose (Sharks
Northwest Arkansas (University of Arkansas)
Other community donations include
Northern Illinois (St. Charles)
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Storm Lake, Iowa