Protein Donation Powers 200,000 Meals for New York's Hungry
New York, NY (October 5, 2004) — More than 200,000 New Yorkers at-risk of hunger will enjoy adding chicken to their food pantry basket thanks to a donation of Tyson high-quality protein to the Food Bank For New York City. The 40,000-pound donation, made in partnership with leading anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength, represents the completed donation of 100 million protein-enriched meals to hunger relief organizations across the US.
"As the world's largest protein company, our donation efforts with Share Our Strength focus on ensuring that this essential component of a healthy diet is available to those who might otherwise go without," said John Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc. "Today's donation marks a significant milestone in Tyson's journey in the fight against hunger, and we will remain strong in our efforts to support organizations like the Food Bank For New York City who work constantly on the frontlines for solutions to end hunger."
A recent report released by the Food Bank For New York City found that at least two million New Yorkers across the five boroughs are at risk of going hungry. In the New York area those most likely to seek help from food assistance programs are single women with children and older adults. The borough most at-risk for hunger is Staten Island followed by the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn in that order.
"We are ever grateful to Tyson Foods for their continued commitment to provide New Yorkers with access to protein — an item that is least often donated to hunger relief efforts," said Tyrone Harrysingh, vice president and COO of the Food Bank. "Our member agencies tell us they look forward to being able to enhance their pantry stock, the majority of which is shelf-stable, with fresh items like chicken or beef."
According to the recent Census Bureau's annual poverty report, the poverty rate in America rose by 4 percent last year to 35.9 million people, one-third of which are children. No one knows this better than those families who depend on a weekly visit to the food pantry to fill their otherwise empty pantry. Generally it is estimated that about 15 percent of a family income goes toward food. So many times, the decision between paying the rent can take precedence over other necessities — like food.
"The level of generosity and support Tyson and its team members provide to help feed our nation's hungry is astounding," said Bill Shore, founder and executive director of Share Our Strength. "With the help of corporations like Tyson, we can raise the awareness and understanding of this important issue to a new level, and make a difference in both short term and long term solutions."
Since the start of Tyson's partnership with Share Our Strength it has provided more than 20 million pounds of chicken, beef and pork or more than 100 million meals to benefit more than 400 hunger-relief organizations across the U.S. The initial donation commitment of 6.5 million pounds of high-quality protein was exceeded after just 18 months into the partnership.
In addition to the hundreds of donations made each year, Tyson is the national sponsor of Share Our Strength's Operation Frontline, which provides parents (and kids) who struggle on a low income, the cooking and nutrition skills they need to make healthy and economical food choices. Tyson provides financial, product and volunteer support for the program in 15 states and Washington, DC to more than 200 communities nationwide. Since the partnership began, the Operation Frontline program has expanded by 50 percent with Tyson's assistance.
This year Share Our Strength marks its 20th anniversary of providing short and long term hunger solutions for the more than 33 million people, including 13 million children, who are food insecure in the U.S. Its annual Conference of Leaders, held in New York this week brings together representatives from the corporate, food-service and non-profit industries to review the current state of food insecurity in this country and continue the planning and action needed to effect change and determine solutions in the fight against hunger.
Share Our Strength, one of the nation's leading anti-hunger organizations, is fueled by a simple but powerful philosophy: It takes more than food to fight hunger. The organization mobilizes thousands of individuals to organize events, host dinners, teach cooking and nutrition classes to low-income families and serve as anti-hunger advocates. Share Our Strength believes it takes each of us, sharing our strength, to make a difference. Since its founding in 1984, Share Our Strength has raised more than $163 million to support more than 1,000 anti-hunger, anti-poverty organizations worldwide. For more information, please visit www.strength.org
Tyson Foods, Inc., www.tyson.com, founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork and the second-largest food company in the FORTUNE 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products, which are marketed under the "Powered by Tyson(tm)" strategy. Tyson is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, providing products and service to customers throughout the U.S and more than 80 countries. Tyson has approximately 114,000 Team Members employed at 300 facilities and offices in 27 states and 22 countries.
Food Bank For New York City, founded in 1983, is the city's primary supplier of food for the hungry, helps provide the food for over 240,000 free meals served each day by more than 1,100 nonprofit community food programs in the five boroughs. Last year, the Food Bank distributed over 67 million pounds of food.