Summer is traditionally a time when food insecurity can hit communities hard. To help fill the gaps that some may face this season, Tyson Foods has partnered with Feed the Children and Americold to create an alliance to defeat hunger.
It features a 10-city tour that will supplement nearly 2 million meals for those who need it most in rural areas. At each event, families will receive a 25-pound box of non-perishable food; a 15-pound box of essentials such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion and personal-care items; Tyson Foods products and more.
The kickoff was held June 8 in Springdale, Ark., where the three organizations and Compassion NWA were able to serve approximately 400 families.
Bob Thomas, chief corporate and external relations officer for Feed the Children, said the alliance to defeat hunger is a unique partnership forged by organizations that can accomplish more by working together.
“Let’s just go across America and take this into communities that may not have easy access to food or resources,” he said. “When you’ve got partners like Tyson and Americold, to me, the sky’s the limit. We’re always stronger together.”
Dr. Jared Cleveland, superintendent of Springdale Public Schools, also noted that, during the school year, students have access to two meals a day. But that may not be the case when classes are out.
“It’s very important that we have these summer opportunities, especially at the end of this COVID situation where so many people are still impacted in a negative way,” he said.
The alliance will also partner with schools in each community to set up a pantry where children and families can access food, school supplies, and personal hygiene products during or after school hours. In Springdale, the pantry was set up at George Elementary School. Cleveland said it will help students have a step up and accomplish great things.
“This food pantry provides a great opportunity at filling the gaps that are really existent among some of our families,” he said.
Additionally, the tour is providing an opportunity to shed light on the root cause of food insecurity.
“Food insecurity is a logistics issue,” said Jordan Gershon, coordinator for employee engagement with the corporate social responsibility team at Tyson Foods. “It is not a product scarcity issue. But it’s about creating capacity so we can store, deliver, and distribute large quantities of protein, and people have access to that protein throughout America.”
She noted that Feed the Children and Americold have partnered with Tyson Foods for many years in the fight against hunger.
“What’s really cool about this event is we are all leveraging our logistics solutions and operations to make sure we are giving access to protein, especially in our rural communities that struggle to store, distribute, and deliver product,” she said.
To learn more about how Tyson Foods helps address hunger insecurity across the country, visit our community impact page.