In memoriam: Sue Brockway

Many in the hunger community are already aware of the passing last week of our colleague and dear friend, Sue Brockway.  While her death was no surprise, it leaves those who knew Sue with a deep sense of loss.  To those who received the news directly from me last week, I’ll apologize for using the same words here, but I hope they summarize Sue’s life and work here at Tyson for those who might not have known her.

In my life, I’ve never known anyone who fought so hard to live—not simply remain alive, but truly enjoy the days she had on earth.  Five years ago, Sue was diagnosed with her second round of cancer, and a local oncologist, known for buoying his patients with sometimes unrealistic optimism, told her, “I think we can get you three years…”   Sue outlived his most optimistic estimate by two years, enduring weekly chemo until a few weeks ago, and missing very little work until just short of a year ago.

Sue began her career at Tyson in our Joslin, Illinois plant, near her hometown of Davenport, Iowa, where she developed a deep respect for the people who make it possible for us to stay in business: the Team Members on the line and the managers who keep the plants running.  When she came to work in our corporate headquarters, she brought that respect, and always strived to maintain the trust and confidence of the people in Tyson communities around the country.

Sue was passionate about life.  When she came to Tyson ten years ago, she immediately became enthusiastically involved in hunger relief, eventually becoming the company’s most ardent advocate for the cause.  She played a defining role in helping us engage our own Team Members in hunger relief, establishing Tyson as an organization that didn’t just write the check, but was authentically engaged.  Her legacy in this area will remain, as this issue has become a part of our corporate culture.

Sue was fiercely dedicated to principles, and held fast to her beliefs, sometimes with a stubborn streak that made her hard to put up with (I now say that with a smile).   When she set her mind to doing something, you’d best not be standing in her path.

Sue leaves an enormous group of friends and family, from all over the country.   We’ll miss her laughter, her enthusiasm and her energy.  We’ll miss her determined passion.  But her indomitable spirit will remain, to inspire us to live every single day to its fullest, and love those around us.

If you wish to honor Sue’s memory, there’s nothing you could do that would please her more than making a donation in her name to your favorite hunger relief organization.


Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee receives 37,520 pounds of protein and The Learning Tree in Shelbyville receives cash donation on behalf of local TysonTeam Members

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 27, 2007 – Hunger relief agencies in middle Tennessee will get an early Christmas gift, thanks to Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:  TSN). A Tyson Foods truck carrying 37,520 pounds of protein products made a stop at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee in Nashville following an event in Shelbyville this morning. The event was attended by Tyson Foods representatives, food bank representatives and Team Members from Tyson’s Shelbyville facility, who made a cash contribution of $4213 to The Learning Tree Head Start program.   

“It is gratifying to know that the cash contribution and the product donation that our company is making today will go to help feed hungry people right here where our Team Members work and live,” said Wally Taylor, complex manager at the Shelbyville plant. Tyson locations nationwide last year launched a program called Powering the Spirit™, which involves three key components: local fund-raising through cooking and grilling events, sales of a specially produced Tyson cookbook featuring recipes from the kitchens of Tyson team members nationwide and donation of 75 percent of the proceeds of those fundraising efforts to the community where the money is raised.  Grants through the program are administered by national hunger relief organization Share Our Strength.  More than $150,000 was raised by Tyson Foods facilities nationwide.

 “It is important to us to be able to support hunger relief efforts in communities where we have operations,” said Bond.  “Since we’re a leader in the foods business it’s only natural for us to also be a leader in the fight against hunger in our nation. In fact, since the year 2000, our company has donated more than 49 million pounds of protein to help those in need.”

Hunger Relief Agencies in Central Mississippi Receive Donations From Tyson Foods Team Members

CARTHAGE, Miss., Nov. 14, 2007 – The Chief Executive Officer of Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:  TSN) today announced that the donation of a truckload of protein was distributed among hunger relief agencies in Central Mississippi. Richard Bond made the announcement as part of his first visit as Tyson CEO to the company’s poultry processing plant on Hwy. 35 North in Carthage. 

The announcement event was attended by Bond, representatives from local hunger relief agencies and Team Members employed at the Carthage plant.  Following the event, a Tyson Foods truck containing the 38,000-pound donation unloaded several pallets of the product at Providence Christian School in Carthage, where it will be distributed through the school’s feeding program. The truck continued on to Jackson, where the remainder of the donation was unloaded at the Mississippi Food Bank Network.

Upon leaving Carthage, Bond and other Team Members traveled on to the company’s Forest facility, where they toured the plant and presented a check for $945 to the Head Start Program of Forest, funds that were raised by Team Members as part of the company’s Powering the Spirit campaign and will be used to fight childhood hunger in the Forest community.

 “It is important to us to be able to support hunger relief efforts in communities where we have operations,” said Bond.  “Since we’re a leader in the foods business it’s only natural for us to also be a leader in the fight against hunger in our nation. In fact, since the year 2000, our company has donated more than 49 million pounds of protein to help those in need.”


Share Our Strength Founder Bill Shore On Hand as Tyson Team Members Make Powering the Spirit Donation

SPRINGDALE, Ark., Nov. 13, 2007 – A leader in the fight against hunger was in Northwest Arkansas today to meet with executives at Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN).  Bill Shore, founder and chief executive officer of Share Our Strength, met with company officials to discuss Tyson Foods’ partnership with Share Our Strength and the two organizations’ work in the fight against childhood hunger.  Tyson Foods made a donation of $9,655.88 to the Ozark Food Bank today at Tyson Foods’ headquarters. The cash contribution was the result of local fundraising efforts to eliminate childhood hunger. More than $150,000 was raised by Tyson Foods facilities nationwide.

 The event was attended by Shore, Share Our Strength’s Development Director Chuck Scofield, Tyson Foods’ Chief Executive Officer Dick Bond, representatives from Ozark Food Bank and local Tyson Team Members.

 “Tyson Foods has supported the work of Share Our Strength since 2000,” said Bond. “Our company values the great work that they do and the tremendous impact they have on childhood hunger.  We welcome Bill and Chuck to Northwest Arkansas and remain committed to Share Our Strength’s work and its mission.”

“Our corporate partners are key to helping us find long-term solutions to the problem of childhood hunger,” said Shore. “Partnering with Tyson Foods has allowed us to get much-needed protein to people who need it the most and to bring us a step closer to our goal of eliminating hunger.”
 Shore founded Share Our Strength in 1984 in response to the Ethiopian famine and brought fresh attention to the issue of hunger in the United States. He is also the chairman of Community Wealth Ventures, Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of Share Our Strength that provides consulting services. Shore has written three books about innovative community service, community leaders and how acts of conscience can change the world.

 Today’s donation will help many local families in need as the holiday season approaches, said Betsy Reithemeyer, executive director of the Ozark Food Bank. “We appreciate Tyson Foods’ continued support for our organization and their willingness to help end hunger here in their own backyard. The food bank supplies more than 100 area agencies with food in a four-county area.  Last year, more than 2.2 million pounds of food were distributed to people in need in the region.

Tyson Foods Teams Up With RAGBRAI to Fight Hunger in Iowa



Foodbanks Across Iowa Will Receive Enough Protein for One Million Meals; Feeding Events and Fundraisers Will Help Hunger Relief Agencies Along the RAGBRAI Route


Note: The RAGBRAI involvement was the work of many remarkable Tyson Iowa Team Members.  Hunger Champions–Iowa is a blog detailing their involvement in RAGBRAI, in addition to some other inspiring hunger relief efforts.


July 20, 2007– The 35th Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) begins this weekend, and Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), which operates eight facilities and employs 9,000 Team Members in the state, will be involved in activities throughout the ride to create awareness for the fight against hunger across Iowa.

The company will donate approximately 500 pounds of protein products for each mile of the 477-mile biking event, in what is believed to be the largest protein donation ever made in the state of Iowa. Seven truckloads of protein products totaling more than 240,000 pounds, enough for one million meals, will be distributed among all Iowa foodbanks in the America’s Second Harvest network.

In addition to the product donations, Tyson Foods’ Iowa Team Members will host feeding events in communities near the RAGBRAI route, and the funds raised will be given to organizations in those communities that provide feeding programs for children.

The money raised by the Tyson sponsored events will help local agencies target childhood hunger, which worsens in the summer months when children do not have access to school feeding programs for their meals. The funds raised at these events will be channeled directly back to agencies in the communities that host them.

"Iowa is such an incredibly important state for Tyson Foods, with Team Members, plant communities and livestock producers throughout the state," said Dick Bond, Tyson Foods president and CEO. "We are proud of our Team Members here in Iowa, who have come together in a great way for this effort."