Party with a Purpose

‘Tis the season for numerous holiday celebrations! Regardless of your background or beliefs, you’ve probably received countless invitations and have taken part in a few winter festivities.

Urban League Young Professionals of Middle Tennessee and Tyson Foods Team Members from Shelbyville & Goodlettsville, TN locations

Urban League Young Professionals of Middle Tennessee and Tyson Foods Team Members from Shelbyville & Goodlettsville, TN locations

This past weekend, Santa’s reindeer took me back to Nashville, Tenn. to meet up with a few Team Members from our Shelbyville & Goodlettsville facilities for an evening of mix and mingling with up and coming community leaders–the mission: spread good cheer to inspire others to use their voice to talk about domestic hunger.

Every year, the Urban League of Middle Tennessee Young Professionals host an annual holiday party with a toy drive. This year we added a food drive and a little twist…

We challenged young professionals to use their voice on social media to talk about facts related to food insecurity with the hashtag, #KNOWHungerMT. “You know those young professionals, always on their phones,” one might say. So why not show the true value of 140 characters?

Our goal was simply to engage the young professionals, their networks (and really, everyone) in a conversation in hopes that we inspire future advocates to carry the torch in fighting hunger.

And, to make their tweets a part of immediate hunger relief, Tyson Foods promised to donate $5 for every #KNOWHungerMT tweet/retweet during the weekend up to $5K, to The Nashville Food Project (who also received the food items collected that evening).

We were excited to see the weekend Twitter conversation included nearly 300 mentions! While we could be technical with our calculations, we knew that the full $5,000 could go a long way for The Nashville Food Project and the communities they serve so we’re gifting the entire amount – ’tis the season to give!

Here’s the thing to remember: While the holidays come and go with joyous times for many, the sad reality is that hunger happens year-round. The good news is that there are little ways each of us can help to make a big difference.

Tell us, what are your plans to ‘party with a purpose’ this holiday season? How will you help fight hunger after the season as we head into a new year?

McDonald’s Supports Hunger Relief

The festivities have begun for McDonald's Supplier of the Year day at Tyson Foods

$500K Grant Will Provide Meals to Children in Need

Thursday the corporate campus at Tyson Foods celebrated being named McDonald’s USA’s 2010 Supplier of the Year. But there’s something even more important to cheer about.
The honor was primarily earned by the enhanced cost savings, increased sustainable supply and food safety standards that our food service group is delivering.
As a McDonald’s supplier for nearly 30 years, we’re proud to help McDonald’s serve its 26 million customers daily with wholesome food and quality service. Even though yesterday was about celebrating this great partnership, we’d be remiss to not also recognize the incredible work this trusted restaurant brand does through its Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Just this March, RMHC donated $500,000 to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. The funds are being used to help provide nutritious food, groceries and meals to children living at risk of hunger. Feeding America’s BackPack Program, Kids Cafe, Afterschool Nutrition Program and School Pantries are all benefitting.
We learned with the March release of our hunger perceptions study that one in four Americans worry they won’t be able to put food on the table sometime this year. The study, conducted with the Food Research and Action Center, also found a significant number of children under the age of 18 live in households affected by food insecurity.
RMHC, a non-profit corporation, focuses on improving the health and well being of children directly through its own core programs. But we’re especially proud to see our great partner make such a significant impact for America’s food banks.
Thanks for your generosity McDonald’s. We’re Lovin’ It!

Now Let Us Give Thanks

By Ed Nicholson

I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a tremendous family, good health, and live in the best country in the world. Lots for which to be thankful. I also have one of the best jobs in the world. Every day, my job reminds me of how thankful I should be. You see, neither I nor any of my family has ever gone hungry.

While I stand on a high hill watching people being fed, I also get to look in another direction and get a panoramic view of food being grown, produced and taken to market. Because I know how many people and how much work is involved in that process, it’s easy for me to be grateful for the Thanksgiving meal I’ll share with my family this year.

I’m thankful for the farmers, no matter their size and production techniques. Without them, none of us would be fed. Farming’s hard work that takes a commitment that goes way beyond that of simply making a living.

I’m thankful for the people who pick up, process and deliver food to market. Also hard work, often with very thin margins, and certainly no guarantees of success. Some of them are my own teammates, so I get to see up close and personal how passionate they are about feeding people. I’m humbled and honored to be able to share the products of their hard work.

I’m thankful for people in grocery stores, farmer’s markets, restaurants, institutional kitchens, food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens—anywhere food is conveyed to those of us who will consume it.

I’m thankful that we live in a country that produces a bounty of food. I’m hopeful we’ll continue to explore new ways that bounty can be shared among those who don’t have enough. I’m also hopeful that any changes we make in the way we produce food will allow us to continue to feed our country, in addition to many across the globe.

This week, we’re joining hundreds in support of the AgChat Foundation’s #foodthanks effort to give credit to all those who help bring meals to our table year-round. You can join the effort by using your blog, Twitter or Facebook account tomorrow with the #foodthanks hashtag. Find out more by visiting http://foodthanks.com/

Now let us give thanks.