A message from Tyson Foods Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Debra Vernon
Company Has Donated Almost 30 Million Meals Since March
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is taking its toll, touching every community, family and person in life-altering ways. As we face a challenge like no other, Tyson Foods continues to live our purpose by getting food and aid to where it’s needed most.
In mid-March we announced that Tyson Foods had donated more than four million pounds of food, equivalent to 16 million meals, to our team members, Feeding America food banks, community pantries near our operations and other hunger relief agencies. To date, that number has increased to 28.4 million meals*, or 7,159,311 million pounds of food, including 10 million of those meals directly to our hourly team members as they continue the inspiring work of keeping our country fed.
Small ways to help can be just as impactful as big ones. Many families are feeling the pinch from lost jobs and wages. Make a difference by dropping off non-perishable food items at a local Little Free Pantry. Families in need can pick up items anonymously. There are 45 in the NWA area, alone! Find your closest pantry here.
It is critically important that nonprofit organizations receive funding to address community needs now. To this end, we’ve announced the Tyson Foods COVID-19 Response Fund, which is rapidly deploying financial resources to community-based organizations that are supporting our local team members and community residents during the pandemic.
Plant management teams have discretion to invite local nonprofits to apply for small grants which are intended to support pandemic emergency response, including rent/utility assistance, food distribution, mental health services, health care, childcare and other economic recovery services.
Stan Welch, plant manager at the Newbern, Tennessee facility, was one of the first to utilize the program. “We invited the Salvation Army and Mathew 25:40 to apply for a grant because of the amazing work they do to feed our community. Our plant is the second-largest employer in the area, so these funds, and the product donations we’re able to provide because of the slowdown in the need for the commercial food we produce, mean more mouths fed and more team members supported,” he explained. “I can’t begin to tell you how impactful these funds are for our community during this difficult time.”
Helping Hands Enhancement
Unfortunately, our team members’ families may be facing sudden financial challenges with the loss of a family job, sudden child-care needs or medical expenses. The Tyson Foods Helping Hands Fund was created to assist employees facing financial hardship immediately after a natural disaster or an unforeseen personal hardship. The COVID-19 global pandemic is no exception.
The Helping Hands program has been expanded to include a new event category – Epidemic. Expenses covered under this event include rent/mortgage, utilities, food, childcare, medical expenses not covered by insurance, the inability to work due to illness or quarantine and funeral expenses. The Helping Hands program is available to help team members in need. For more information, go to www.TysonHelpingHands.com or contact Lisa Frye.