KNOW Hunger Nashville kicked off recently with Tyson Foods Vice President of Customer Development Paul Davis, at podium, joining, from left, Dr. Noel Manyindo of the National Urban League, State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville, Patricia Stokes of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee and Jaynee Day of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee for a food donation and press conference.
30,000 Reasons to Love KNOW Hunger Nashville
NASHVILLE, TN – A new partnership called KNOW Hunger Nashville launched on Aug. 15 in “Music City” with the donation of 30,000 pounds of protein to the regional Feeding America food bank.
Tyson Foods is proud to partner with two of Middle Tennessee’s best organizations – the Urban League and Second Harvest Food Bank – for this two-year campaign that aims to raise awareness about hunger and nutrition. The entire press conference may be viewed here.
Piloted in 2012 by the National Urban League and Tyson Foods in Jackson, Miss., the program comes to Middle Tennessee because of the area’s high food insecurity rates, proximity to Tyson facilities and strong local Urban League and food bank affiliates.
The Mississippi pilot saw 115,000 pounds of food donated, twin nutrition fairs in Vicksburg, Miss., and Jackson, Miss., a proliferation of activism and an increase in agency participation with the Mississippi Food Network.
In cooperation with Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University, the Nashville effort will include a variety of initiatives such as wellness fairs, Supplemental Nutrition Aassistance Program education, food donations, nutrition programming and the development of a new digital tool for stretching food budgets.
Nashville may seem an odd choice on first blush. Known for its rich history, music celebrities and pro sports, Tennessee’s capital conjures images of mansions and southern glam.
The truth though is that although two thirds of people nationally don’t think hunger is a problem in their community, one in four Americans worry about putting food on the table. That’s where KNOW Hunger comes in.
Raising awareness about the many nuances surrounding hunger will be the cornerstone of the endeavor.
Nashville’s Davidson County has a food insecurity rate of 18 percent, meaning about 112,000 of its residents frequently lack access to adequate food. Statewide, more than 400,000 families in Tennessee face food insecurity.
About 50 leaders attended the recent kickoff including representatives from all of the partners plus local influencers. State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville, credited fellow speaker Dr. Noel Manyindo, a medical doctor and the NUL’s Senior Director of Health & Quality of Life, with articulating out how disproportionately children, seniors and minorities are affected by hunger.
“Children cannot perform at their highest level if they go to bed hungry and report back to school the next day hungry,” Gilmore said. “We want them to be at their best so that they can be the brightest students and Tennessee can rise to the top in every single area.”
Jaynee Day, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, said although many people believe the nation has recovered from recession, food banks continue to experience an uptick in need.
“This partnership will not only help Second Harvest continue to raise awareness of hunger issues, but it will also provide a valuable resource for individuals and families to learn how to access food assistance programs and provide more nutritious meals at home.”
Patricia Stokes, president and CEO of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, said her organization is excited to add its voice and track record of success to the cause.
“It is our hope that this endeavor will strengthen our community and move individuals and families who are health challenged toward improved health and those who are food insecure toward greater security,” Stokes said.
The Urban League of Middle Tennessee will spearhead local efforts. Some of the more than 4,000 people Tyson Foods employs in Tennessee will also be involved in volunteer efforts along with assistance from local Urban League affiliate Guild and Young Professional auxiliary members.
Tyson Foods has been active in hunger relief more many years, donating more than donated 93 million pounds of protein to food banks other relief agencies since 2000.
The Twitter hashtag for the campaign is #KNOWHunger.
About the National Urban League
The National Urban League (www.nul.org) is a historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization dedicated to economic empowerment in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League has improved the lives of more than two million people nationwide through direct service programs that are implemented locally by its 95 Urban League affiliates in 300 communities across 36 states and the District of Columbia. The organization also conducts public policy research and advocacy activities from its Washington, DC bureau. The National Urban League, a BBB-accredited organization, has an A-rating from Charity Watch and a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, placing it in the top 10 percent of all U.S. charities for adhering to good governance, fiscal responsibility and other best practices.
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc.(NYSE: TSN), with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company was founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson, whose family has continued to be involved with son Don Tyson leading the company for many years and grandson John H. Tyson serving as the current Chairman of the Board of Directors. Tyson Foods produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. The company provides products and services to customers throughout the United States and approximately 130 countries. It has approximately 115,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.
About Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
Organized in 1978, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is a private, not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization. Second Harvest’s mission is to feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in our community. Second Harvest distributes food and other products to approximately 400 nonprofit partner agencies in 46 counties in Middle and West Tennessee. Our partners include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, childcare facilities, senior centers, group homes, and youth enrichment programs. For more information on Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and its programs, please visit www.secondharvestmidtn.org.