Double-take on a familiar face: My reintroduction to Tyson Foods

I am now in my fifth month of my internship with Tyson Foods. To be completely honest the only thing I knew about Tyson when I began this internship was that Tyson produced chicken and that Tyson was a great employment provider for many people I knew growing up. Many of my own family members worked their first jobs in the chicken production plants.

Tyson Team Members with LULAC PresidentIn the four months I been here I have learned so much more about Tyson Foods and quite honestly I was blown away by all the work Tyson puts into giving back to the community. I personally never experienced hunger, but like many families in a tough economy, at times money gets tight and we all have to cut back on spending. Thankfully my parents were always working hard to make sure we always had meat on the table, not just bread but meat. My father in his early years was a butcher and his father before him was a butcher too; the importance of protein as a part of a daily meal was always very clear to them.

On my very first week of my internship with Tyson Foods I was sent to Las Vegas. There the company had paired up with LULAC  (League of United Latin American Citizens) and was making a donation of protein to the local food bank.  The donation was of 38,400 pounds of protein! This donation was to feed more than 100,000 Nevadans fighting hunger.

When I came back to work, the Tyson team was gearing up for yet another donation and more work around creating awareness about food insecurity, and also continuing to giving more help to Moore, Oklahoma. Little by little I discovered a new face of Tyson, the human, caring face of Tyson Foods.

My parents have always inculcated the values of being a good neighbor and giving back. To me giving back is a much greater gift. When you give back to the community you are making a change, a visible, tangible, change. Through this internship I have learned that Tyson Foods isn’t just about chicken, or beef or pork for that matter; it’s about people.

Saving up for the holidays

Bart Brown is the President/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest, the Feeding America member food bank in Springfield, Missouri.  Here he talks about the great work of the food bank.  I was particularly touched by a story he told of a child who depended on the school backpack program, the son of a substance abusing mother, who had to hide his food, saving cans over months so he’d have enough to hold him over during school holidays. It’s not the kind of saving most of us have to worry about doing.

Do you value your true assets?

By Susan Brockway

New numbers have just been released and as expected, the number of people lacking food continues to grow.  At the food bank for which I’m board president, we look at each and every dollar closely and wonder what to do to make it stretch. 
Volunteers obviously are essential to helping meeting growing need.  Each volunteer hour represents dollars in offset labor costs.  Most food banks simply would not be in business were it not for the tireless efforts of their volunteers. 
Here’s a way you can honor your best volunteers:  Nominate them as a Tyson Hunger All-Star.  They’ll be recognized on this site, and each month we select one volunteer whose local Feeding America food bank will receive a truckload of Tyson products in his or her name. 
So take a little time and honor your volunteers for the assets they truly are.


Giving Up Tradition to Survive

By Susan Brockway.

As the president of the board of directors for a small food bank, I am losing a lot of sleep wondering where the money will come from.  Small food banks don’t receive proceeds from national cause marketing campaigns for operating funds.  Most local donations  are down 20% and most services up 35-40%. 

What rabbit are we going to pull out of our hats to keep these critical operations up and running? 

Is  anyone else worrying…….I certainly hope so.

Why we donate to Feeding America food banks



By Ed Nicholson

At Tyson Foods, we’re frequently asked why so many of our in-kind donations go to Feeding America food banks.  After all, there any number of very worthy recipients of our products, at both the local and national levels, who could channel everything we donate to people in need.

Here are some of the reasons we choose to support Feeding America with our in-kind donations:

The Feeding America network of food banks covers every county in the United States.  It is a well-designed, well-run food distribution network, that specifically addresses the needs of the 34 million people in the U.S. at risk of hunger.

Each food bank has a robust network of agencies who can guarantee the food is distributed fairly. Agencies are required to submit evidence that the food they receive goes specifically to hunger relief programs, feeding people who really need it without discriminating requirements.  

Food safety is at the forefront.  Feeding America has a food safety certification program to ensure each food bank is handling and distributing the food properly.  In turn, the food banks ensure their distributing agencies also place a high value on food safety. This is especially important in a world where food safety is everyone’s responsibility, from farm to fork. 

The food will not end up back on the market; no matter what.  When we donate products, we want to make certain they don’t end up back in commerce, competing with our products in retail stores. Believe it or not, this has occurred.  This is important to the retail stores to whom we sell.  Us, too.

Feeding America, through their national organization, encourages thought leadership and best practices among its member food banks.  Examples: Backpack programs, which send food home on the weekend with kids at-risk of hunger.  A Washington, D.C.-based office of hunger experts who advocate on The Hill for legislation that addresses hunger in the U.S.

Feeding America has the support of national sponsors, who are committed to the sustainability of the network. 

We’re often approached for donations by individual agencies at the local level. We subsequently encourage them to become members of the Feeding America food bank serving their area, ensuring them sustainable access to a consistent supply of quality food.