In an effort to help raise awareness of hunger in the United States, Tyson Foods initiated the KNOW Hunger campaign in early 2011. The project was designed to encourage people to KNOW the scope of hunger in their own communities and get involved in relief efforts, so someday there will be NO hunger in our country.
Tyson collaborated with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) to commission one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys ever conducted exclusively on attitudes and perceptions of hunger. The results were announced on March 10, 2011. Key findings included:
- One in four Americans is worried about having enough money to put food on the table in the next year.
- Many Americans are unaware of how serious hunger is in their own communities.
The campaign launch also included Tyson’s commitment to donate one million pounds of high quality protein (boneless, skinless chicken breasts) to 37 food banks across the U.S. during the month of March. Each food bank received a full truck load, or about 29,000 pounds, of boneless chicken, enough to serve 116,000 meals per community.
In 2014, Tyson re-commissioned the research with FRAC to determine if attitudes toward hunger had changed over time. According to the new survey:
- Two out of five Americans have either experienced hunger in the past year or personally know someone who has—that includes nearly half of people aged 18 to 34.
- Nearly three in 10 Americans (and half of millennials) say that either they or a member of their immediate family have used government food assistance programs in the past couple of years. That includes at least 25 percent of nearly every major demographic subgroup.
- While the survey showed widespread awareness of hunger as a regional and national challenge, still only 24 percent of respondents believed it was a problem in their own communities.
Tyson’s Involvement in Hunger Relief
The KNOW Hunger campaign evolved from Tyson Food’s commitment to hunger relief, which began more than 15 years ago when the company formally partnered with the hunger relief organization Share Our Strength (SOS).
Since 2000, Tyson has now donated more than 98 million pounds of much-needed protein to hundreds of food banks, food pantries, and relief agencies in 48 states. A milestone of 100 million pounds will be reached in 2015.
Tyson partners with all of the nation’s major hunger relief organizations, including Share Our Strength/No Kid Hunger, Feeding America, and the Food Research and Action Center. Efforts include:
Share Our Strength
- Tyson Foods first partnered with Share Our Strength in 2000, as the national sponsor of the organization’s Operation Frontline (now “Cooking Matters”), a program designed to teach families how to prepare affordable, nutritious meals.
- Tyson is currently a national No Kid Hungry Starts with Breakfast sponsor and supports No Kid Hungry’s Blogger Network.
- Tyson also worked with SOS to develop its company-wide ‘Powering the Spirit Campaign.’ This effort included Tyson employee-sponsored fundraising events and a special cookbook comprised of Tyson employee-donated recipes that is sold to raise additional funds. All “Powering the Spirit Campaign” funds were distributed in the communities where they were raised in support of Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger. The program raised more than a quarter of a million dollars.
- In 2006, Tyson established a national partnership with America’s Second Harvest, the Nation’s Food Bank Network (now Feeding America), committing 10 million pounds in protein donations to the network’s member food banks over a three year period. This commitment was met in the second year of the partnership, and the company continues to donate multiple truckloads of product annually.
- Tyson also provides financial assistance to the national Feeding America organization and member food banks, as well as volunteers through both extra-hands projects such as meal packing and food drives, and skills based pro-bono projects.
Lift Up America
- In 2003, Tyson began a partnership with Lift Up America, a coalition of influential business people, who include professional and college athletic team owners, coaches and athletic directors.
- Each year Tyson joins teams from around the country to make protein donations to Feeding America food banks in their communities. The teams Tyson and LUA have collaborated with on food donations include the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers and Detroit Lions of the NFL, San Jose Sharks of the NHL, Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns of the NBA, and the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball.
Clinton Global Initiative
- In 2014, the Tyson Foods Fellows, a team member knowledge-share program, was developed and became part of a 5-year CGI commitment with World Vision, to assist smallholder farmers in the Babati Region of Tanzania by providing technical assistance in the poultry value chain. Ultimately, the project aims to improve the livelihoods of these farmers in their families by developing a sustainable food supply and income improvement.
- In 2015, Tyson began a commitment with Mission Measurement and other partners called the Food Insecurity Genome, designed to increase the impact of food security programs.
- In 2014, Tyson became a supporter of the National FFA’s Feeding our World, Starting at Home Hunger Platform, an educational movement to help students and teachers understand the issue s and effects of domestic and global food insecurity.