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 is 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.
As part of the launch of the campaign, 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 will receive a full truck load, or about 29,000 pounds, of boneless chicken, enough to serve 116,000 meals per community.
Tyson’s Involvement in Hunger Relief
The KNOW Hunger campaign evolved from Tyson Food’s commitment to hunger relief, which began more than 10 years ago when the company formally partnered with the hunger relief organization Share Our Strength (SOS).
Since 2000, Tyson has donated more than 91 million pounds of much-needed protein to hundreds of food banks, food pantries, and relief agencies in 48 states.
Tyson partners with all of the nation’s major hunger relief organizations. In addition to SOS, Tyson has worked with Lift Up America (LUA), Feeding America and FRAC. Efforts include:
• Share Our Strength
o 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.
o Tyson also worked with SOS to develop its company-wide ‘Powering the Spirit Campaign.’ This effort includes 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 are distributed in the communities where they are raised in support of SOS’s efforts to end childhood hunger.
o Since 2006, the effort has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars.
• Lift Up America
o 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.
o 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.
• Feeding America
o 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.
o Tyson provides financial support to a program called the Student Food Drive, which mobilizes high school students to raise food and funds for their local Feeding America food banks.
• Food Research and Action Center
o In early 2011, Tyson Foods and FRAC commissioned a national hunger awareness survey as part of efforts to educate Americans about the hunger needs in their communities.
Tyson’s Ongoing Hunger Relief Commitment
Tyson’s commitment to hunger relief is communicated online at http://www.tysonhungerrelief.com. The site is designed to raise hunger awareness and unite those already engaged in the fight against hunger.
Tyson also uses social media tools to create hunger awareness, such as a Twitter account (http://twitter.com/TysonFoods ) that currently has more than 12,000 followers.
Each year since 2000, Tyson conducts 50-60 donation events, in which full truckloads of protein (nearly 30,000 lbs. or 120,000 servings) are donated to food banks in various communities across the country. The events are designed to help the food banks supply community agencies with much-needed protein, to create hunger awareness in the communities and to spotlight the positive work being done by the food banks and the agencies they serve.
At the end of 2010, Tyson had donated enough protein to have served one meal to every American citizen (78 million pounds = 312 million servings), and the company intends to continue protein donations as it increases its efforts to raise hunger awareness.
Tyson Foods will continue to expand its involvement in the issue of hunger, engaging customers, consumers, communities and other stakeholders, with the vision of a U.S. where no one should lack for proper nutrition.