The World Needs More Lolas

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” What are we doing for our communities, our animals, and our planet that makes the world a better place than we found it? It’s an important question with no one simple answer or solution, but a main focus at Tyson Foods for many years has been addressing the very real and prevalent problem of hunger in our society.

That’s why after donating 100 million pounds of food over the past 15 years, we’ve made a renewed commitment to hunger relief. We announced our pledge last fall for $50 million in cash and in-kind donations over the next five years in the fight against hunger, with a special focus on innovative initiatives at the local level.

We are so proud to be supporting the dedicated individuals on the front lines of fighting hunger in their communities like Lola Stephens-Bell of Austin, Texas, who runs a restaurant where she serves free, hot, homemade meals in addition to devoting several days a week to drive food directly to the underserved people of Austin.

Last Friday, in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and National Day of Service, we were so very grateful to honor Lola’s service to her community by announcing the donation of a year’s worth of protein and also unveiling and presenting a refurbished bus that we customized  to help Lola more effectively deliver meals to her community.

We know we can’t solve hunger alone. It’s the organizations and heroes in communities all over the country who are doing the real work. We’re proud to support those who are fighting hunger across the country and shine a spotlight on individuals making a big difference in innovative ways and above all else- helping others.

As a company and as culture we can learn much from Dr. King’s legacy, but we must do so not only in words, but in action.

The world needs more Lolas.

So we’d like to take today and say thank you, Lola, and thank you, Dr. King, for always seeking to help others before yourselves — because that is how you make a real difference.

Do you know someone making a difference in your community? Let us know here:

Donnie Smith is President and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tyson Foods #MealsThatMatter Disaster Relief Teams Feed 64,000 in #Oklahoma

Tyson Foods volunteer employees have served 64,000 Meals That Matter® meals to residents and relief workers in Moore, Oklahoma, immediately following the devastating tornado of last week and continue to work alongside the American Red Cross, the National Guard, and others who are helping to rebuild Oklahoma.

5-31-Nashville team in Moore OK
On Wednesday, the team had already served about 6,000 meals before storms once again threatened the area.

“The weather has been challenging over the last 48 hours, and our teams have been battling through, but we must keep everyone safe,” says Community Relations Manager Jeff Wood.

Jeff and other employees are providing information updates and photos on our work in Moore.

Jeff said Thursday, that Tyson Foods’ relief efforts would likely begin winding down on June 3, as services in much of the town are now back up and running, people are going back to work, and many restaurants and other businesses are open.

“I was so proud of our employees, more than 16 complexes volunteered,” Jeff says. “We sent one request out to the plants, and they responded immediately. There are some teams that may not be dispatched, but they were just as valuable in our efforts, because they were ready and willing to go if needed. I can’t thank all of our employees enough.”

Day 2 update from Moore, OK: Tyson Foods #MealsThatMatter

Jason Betts, Tyson Foods #MealsThatMatter volunteer

Tyson Team Member Jason Betts is a nurse manager at the Tyson Foods plant in Noel, Missouri

Tyson Team Member Jason Betts (pictured at left) is a nurse manager at the Tyson Foods plant in Noel, Missouri. He is volunteering in our disaster relief efforts in Moore, Oklahoma. Jason said it means a lot to him to be working in the Meals That Matter program because Tyson actually fed him when he was displaced in the Joplin tornado two years ago. He’s grateful to be working for Tyson Foods, where he has an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those affected by the May 20 tornado.

Live reports from the field today from Jeff Wood, Community Relations manager at Tyson Foods:
Jeff says, “This morning started off with storm alarms sounding and severe thunderstorms with hail. We had delayed everyone an hour already, but the storm is still going on. We battened down the hatches before leaving, so we’ll be back at it as soon as possible. Sherman, Texas, team is already on site, taking cover. I don’t imagine there will be breakfast service based on radar.

Approaching 1,200 people served so far today with increasing walk-up demand, plus neighborhood distribution. We are working with national guard now. We’re preparing and serving burgers, chicken wraps, steak sandwiches, and hot dogs. Expecting another big day. We have recruited volunteers to help meet demand.”

NOTE: The storms moved on, and the Meals That Matter team is back at it.

How to get involved
We need volunteers to help deliver meals! Come see us at Southgate Baptist Church, 740 SW 4th St, Moore, Oklahoma. Ask for Pat!

If you’re unable to join us in person, you can always donate to the Red Cross, too.


Per media reports:

“Tyson served a free lunch to about 4,000 people Wednesday in front of Southgate Baptist Church on Southwest Fourth Street, said Jeffrey Wood, manager of community relations for the company.

Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman said that between lunch and dinner the company served 5,000 people Wednesday…

‘This is the single largest nongovernmental food operation that I know of that’s operating in the city of Moore,’ said Randy Terrill, a former Oklahoma state representative who was helping as a volunteer.’”


Tyson Foods #MealsThatMatter Team is on the ground serving meals in #Oklahoma this morning!

Tyson Foods disaster relief team has set up camp and is serving food this morning in Moore, Oklahoma, immediately following this week’s devastating tornado. We’re here to support and feed local residents, emergency crews and volunteers helping with the recovery efforts.

UPDATE – evening 5/22/2013:

Over 5,000 meals served today!
TysonFoods - evening 5-22.collage

UPDATE – afternoon 5/22/2013:

This afternoon we took some additional photos from folks gathering for lunch at the Tyson Foods disaster relief area.

Top Left: Easton Evans, intern, UofA double major in business and poultry science. Third day as intern and helping out with relief efforts in Moore Ok. Bottom: Saba Naseem, a recent UofA grad who came to volunteer, and Mike Gerleman, Tyson Foods complex manager of Sherman Texas prepping breakfast.

Top Left: Easton Evans, intern, UofA double major in business and poultry science. Third day as intern and helping out with relief efforts in Moore Ok.
Bottom: Saba Naseem, a recent UofA grad who came to volunteer, and Mike Gerleman, Tyson Foods complex manager of Sherman Texas prepping breakfast.

See full Tyson Foods press release regarding Moore, Oklahoma, disaster relief efforts.
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