You Filled A Truck For the Food Bank For New York City!

Thanks to all who commented on this entry about hunger in New York City and the work of the Food Bank for New York City . We now have more than 350 blog comments, meaning a truckload (approximately 35,000 lbs.)  of Tyson products will be delivered to the food bank sometime in the next couple of weeks. 

Meanwhile, please stay involved in the fight against hunger. New Yorkers can find out more by contacting the Food Bank for New York City.  If you’re somewhere else,  Feeding America has a handy food bank finder tool on its site that will connect you with one of its 200 member food banks across the U.S.

Thanks again.  It’s your engagement that makes this kind of effort possible.  And it will be your passion and compassion that make it possible for us to consider a day when the fight against hunger will be won.


Boston Donation Arrives



Donation Arriving at the Greater Boston Food Bank


We got word from our friends at the Greater Boston Food Bank that the second of two truckloads of product generated by the comment-for-food effort in Boston arrived safely at the food bank yesterday.

Thanks to Beth Kanter for connecting us with Bob Collins and the folks from Boston’s Social Media Breakfast. Thanks, Beth, for all you do to educate people on the use of social media for social good.  

Thanks to all of you who took the time to comment.  Please continue to get involved with hunger relief.

And most of all, thanks to the hard workers at the Greater Boston Food bank and all in our world who devote their lives to feeding those in need.  Happy New Year to you, and may the blessings you bestow on others be doubled back upon you in 2009. 


Ethel Shepherd, Hunger All-Star of the Month

By Ed Nicholson



Ethel Shepherd

Ethel Shepherd is the Tyson Hunger All-Star of the Month for October. You can read Ethel’s inspiring story here, but in brief, for the past 25 years, she has been collecting and distributing food for those at risk of hunger in her home town of Mountain Grove, Missouri. 
In the past nine years, as Tyson Foods has become increasingly involved in hunger relief, we’ve encountered hundreds of "Ethels" around the country: inspiring people who are working selflessly, innovatively and creatively to end hunger in their own communities.   We created the Hunger All-Star program to honor and recognize the work of these people.  Because they deserve it. Because they inspire others to become involved. Because they make a difference.
Perhaps you know someone like Ethel. We would encourage you to nominate them here as a Hunger All-Star.  Even if they’re not selected as a Hunger All-Star of the Month,  if they’ve made a valid contribution, we’ll put your nomination up on this site as recognition.  If they are selected as Hunger All-Star of the Month, the Feeding America food bank serving their area will receive a truckload of Tyson products, donated in their honor.
On Monday, Ethel Shepherd received the Hunger All-Star of the Month Award at Ozarks Food Harvest Food Bank in Springfield.  She honored us all by celebrating her 80th birthday at the award ceremony.  And she’s still going strong. 

Hunger in the Bay Area – and How You Can Help


Hunger is a serious problem in the Bay Area…
• Nearly 1.2 million people in the Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma and Santa Cruz counties) are living near the poverty line, at risk of going hungry. According to census figures, these people are making less than $26,000 for a family of 3.
• The California Budget Project estimates that a family needs to make more than twice that amount – at least $53,000 – in order to make ends meet in the Bay Area. People who can’t get by often give up food to pay for vital expenses like medicine, or fixed expenses like rent.
• 50% of the people Bay Area food banks serve are children – and many live in working poor families.

The current economy is making things even worse…
• In addition to the region’s high cost of living, food and fuel prices have skyrocketed over the past year. Higher food and energy prices have put many more families into crisis, and they’ve had to turn to Food Banks to get the basics. Seniors on fixed incomes have been severely impacted, too.
• Nationally, eggs have increased 34% and white bread 15%, while milk prices in California have climbed 30% in the past year.  According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, gasoline prices in the Bay Area have gone up 36.4% in the past year.
• On top of dramatically higher food prices, the economic downturn has put even more families at risk of going hungry. All six Bay Area food banks are seeing increased numbers of clients in need, with longer lines at our grocery pantries. People often stand in line for hours to get food.

Government resources have been cut, making private donations crucial…
• Allotments of basic foods like rice, beans, and protein items from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Bay Area food banks have dropped 50% in the last 5 years – from over 14 million pounds in 2003 to just 7 million in 2008.

How the 6 Bay Area food banks help…

• Every day, Bay Area food banks source, collect, sort, inspect and repackage hundreds of thousands of pounds of food. The food comes from supermarket chains, large manufacturers, wholesalers, produce packers and growers, restaurant suppliers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and food drives.
• Last year Bay Area Food banks distributed 96 million pounds of food into their communities, this year they are distributing over 102 million pounds of food – up more than 6%.
• This year Bay Area Food banks will distribute enough food for 219,000 meals every day. It goes out to neighborhood grocery pantries, soup kitchens, programs that serve homebound seniors, and more.

Here’s how you can help…
• For every comment this post receives indicating it has been read, Tyson Foods will donate 100 pounds of high-quality protein (up to a total of 200,000 pounds) to the six Bay Area food banks. Help us fill the trucks! Comment here (even one-word comments acceptable. One comment per visitor, please.  NOTE: Since our comments are moderated, it might take a bit to get them up, but we WILL get them up). To prevent spam, the comment form asks for an email address. Tyson will NOT harvest these emails or use them in any way whatsoever.

• Visit the website of your nearest food bank to learn more about how you can donate, volunteer and advocate to help end hunger where you live:
San Francisco Food Bank
Alameda Community Food Bank
Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano
Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties
Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz & San Benito Counties
Redwood Empire Food Bank
Many thanks to the Bay Area food bloggers who took on the San Francisco Food Bank’s Hunger Challenge. Without the attention they brought to this issue, Tyson’s donation would not have happened.

UPDATE!!!! As of Thursday, Oct. 2, less than one week after we began the effort, we reached our goal of 2000 comments, meaning ALL 200,000 pounds will be delivered to Bay Area Food Banks!  In fact, as of this writing, some of the food has already been delivered.  THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR EFFORTS!


Since 2000, Tyson Foods has been actively involved in the fight against hunger, contributing more than 53 million pounds of food to hunger and disaster relief.  This site will tell you more about the company’s ongoing efforts. 

This just in: We’ve had quite a few requests from commenters that we send some vegetarian items.  While we’re primarily a  meat protein company, we do make pizza crust.  We’re sending along  a bit of that.

Tyson Donation Featured on CBS Early Show



Tyson’s Jenise Huffman appeared on the CBS Early Show today to announce a donation of a truckload of Tyson products in support of the network’s Facing Hunger, Feeding America food drive.  The food drive is a great effort on behalf of CBS and their affiliates to replinish stocks of the member food banks of America’s Second Harvest–the Nation’s Food Bank Network. 

Jenise happens to be in New York, on a paid leave from Tyson Foods to work with Millennium Promise, exploring ways to address hunger and poverty in Africa.  She’ll be making some contribuitions to this site, reporting on her experiences with the organization.

Many thanks to CBS and America’s Second Harvest (a phenomenal partner!) for allowing Tyson Foods to be part of this effort. Thanks also to Mike Barnwell and Skip Stephens from BEM Sales and Marketing, and to Melissa Baer from Sunshine, Sachs & Associates for their invaluable roles in making this happen.