You’ve likely noticed some empty store shelves as American consumers flock to retail grocery and club stores in response to the spread of COVID-19. We take our role to feed the world very seriously. That’s why we’re committed to ensuring the continuity of our business and the availability of our products to consumers across the nation. We’re shifting some of our chicken, beef and pork production from foodservice to meet the surge in demand for retail food products.

Clearly stated, the food supply in the U.S. is more than sufficient and we’re taking a variety of measures to meet the shifting increase in demand now, and to ensure a steady supply moving forward. There is plenty of food available. We are working closely with our retailer partners to ensure our products are on their shelves, so that you have what you need to feed your family.

With more than 100 food production plants in the U.S., our unique scale allows us to quickly adjust and meet the current demand at grocery and other retail stores. We’re working collaboratively with our customers to fill and ship orders as rapidly as possible. In some cases, our capability to shift processes in individual plants is allowing us to quickly pivot to producing retail items. For example, changing packaging from a foodservice product to a retail product can occur quickly because of the built-in flexibility of our operations.

While we’ve made moves like this before, this is the most significant shift we’ve ever initiated.

Jimmy Dean once said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

While the winds we face are both significant and sudden, our team members have responded in a rapid manner to ensure that we’re living up to our responsibility to feed the world.

In addition, during this unprecedented environment, every day, more of our friends and neighbors are depending on local food banks and community pantries to provide for their families. Tyson Foods is committed to addressing this need. 

Since March 2, we’ve donated approximately 2.6 million pounds of product in 18 states and are working to donate an additional 1.5 million pounds. A total of four million pounds, or 16 million meals*, are being donated by Tyson Foods to our team members, Feeding America food banks, community pantries near our operations and other hunger relief agencies. Find a complete list of those receiving product donations here

Note: this blog received updates on March 19 to include mention and a resource link of ongoing commitments from Tyson Foods towards hunger relief efforts.

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Author
President and Director at Tyson Foods

Dean Banks has been president of Tyson Foods since December 2019 and has served on the board of directors since 2017. He leads the company’s Poultry, Fresh Meats and Prepared Foods business segments, as well as Alternative Proteins, International and Sales.

Dean has a unique background in innovation and technology, which includes building and investing in early-stage advanced technology companies. Prior to joining Tyson Foods, Dean was a Project Lead and on the Leadership Team at X (formerly Google [x]), an Alphabet Inc. company, where he remains an advisor. Before this, he was Managing Partner of SEED Ventures, a group investing in and developing early stage healthcare technologies.

Dean has also served in leadership and consulting roles with IntraCelluar Technologies, now Vergent Bioscience; Cleveland Clinic Innovations and the Ohio Orthopedic Commercialization Center; OrthoHelix (acquired by Tornier, Inc.); Connective Orthopaedics; Highland Capital Partners, Cytyc Corporation (acquired by Hologic), and Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company.

A former platoon sergeant and squad leader in the U.S. Marine Corps, Dean has a BA in Marketing and Public Relations from Miami University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.