Mobile pantries, disaster relief, community grants also highlight the company’s giving efforts
Tyson Foods supported its U.S. team members and plant communities in 2021 through numerous hunger and disaster relief efforts, community grants and on-site educational programs.
The company donated more than 16 million pounds of protein – the equivalent of 64 million meals – to fight hunger in fiscal 2021. The food donations, valued at $36 million, were given to food banks, pantries and hunger relief organizations in plant communities and across the nation.
“We remain committed to addressing food insecurity, supporting our team members and improving the quality of life in the communities where we operate,” said Tim Grailer, senior director of corporate social responsibility for Tyson Foods. “We know our efforts are stronger through collaboration and we’re honored to work with a network of outstanding community partners.”
Almost 10 million pounds of the food donated by the company in 2021 was distributed through the Community Pantry Program (CPP), an innovative hunger relief initiative started by the company to address the issue of hunger in rural communities that have limited resources to receive, store and distribute protein products. There are currently 42 pantries in the network, which serves 35 communities in 19 states.
“Northwest Arkansas is a thriving community, but many of our neighbors still struggle to put food on the table,” said Eric Vaughan, executive director of Feed the 479. “However, because of our partnership with Tyson Foods through its Community Pantry Program, we’ve been able to reach areas that are currently underserved by meeting families where they are.”
“Through our mobile program, Feed the 479 has been able to serve areas in Bentonville, Springdale, and Fayetteville, expanding the number of food accessibility points in the region,” Vaughan added. “Without the continued support of Tyson Foods and the CPP program, we would not have the ability to reach our neighbors in need with quality and healthy food to help reduce the hunger insecurity in our region.”
In response to the recent tornado damage in Kentucky and Tennessee, the company donated upwards of 1 million meals, the equivalent of approximately 260,000 pounds of protein, to help feed families and relief workers. The Meals That Matter® disaster relief trailer was based at the Walmart Supercenter in Mayfield, Kentucky, and the company supported nearly a dozen impacted communities throughout Kentucky and Tennessee with product donations. Volunteers from Tyson Foods facilities across Arkansas, Tennessee and Indiana distributed protein and cooked meals as part of the company’s response.
Tyson Foods’ disaster relief efforts last year also included providing 650,000 meals and multiple truckloads of ice to Louisiana communities affected by Hurricane Ida. The company partnered with several disaster relief organizations including Convoy of Hope, Feed the Children and Salvation Army to provide relief for storm victims and first responders.
During fiscal 2021, Tyson Foods also awarded $5 million to nonprofit organizations in Tyson plant communities. The funds were designated to help support childcare, health care, hunger relief and housing initiatives.
Tyson Foods offers training and development opportunities to help frontline team members further their career and personal goals. The company’s Upward Academy program, which marked its fifth anniversary in 2021, helps team members develop life skills, offering free and accessible classes in English as a Second Language (ESL), High School Equivalency (HSE), U.S. citizenship, financial literacy and digital literacy. In early 2021, the company also launched Upward Pathways, an in-plant career development program that provides frontline team members with free job skills training and workforce certifications.