JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 16, 2008) - Lift Up America and the Jacksonville Jaguars teamed up with Tyson Foods, Inc. to help bring the gift of food to the First Coast's less fortunate on Tuesday, Dec. 16. The Second Harvest Food Bank distributed 902 cases of frozen chicken to 29 Second Harvest agencies that help fight hunger on the First Coast. The chicken donation totaled 31,218 pounds.
The distribution took place at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, with selected Jacksonville Jaguars team members and front office personnel assisting with the distribution.
In addition to distributing valuable food products at the event, Lift Up America representatives also announced that Jacksonville has now been elevated to a “top priority” city in the organization’s food distribution plans. That elevation in status will provide more frequent access to food resources for the Second Harvest Food Bank and its member agencies through events similar to the one held on Dec. 16.
The donation was part of a partnership between Lift Up America, Tyson Foods, Inc., Here’s Life Inner City and other professional and college sports programs to donate 33 truckloads of Tyson chicken to help restock the shelves at Feeding America’s affiliate food banks across the nation. Jacksonville is one of 24 cities to receive Tyson Foods protein. The goodwill delivery tour to fight hunger kicked off on Dec. 1 in Chicago and the 1 million pound donation to Feeding America affiliate food banks across the United States will be delivered during the next two weeks.
“The demand for emergency food is higher than it has ever been in our history. We are serving more people- many who can no longer make ends meet in today’s economy.” said Wayne Rieley, executive director of the Second Harvest Food Bank. “Protein is vital to a healthy meal and this donation is important because it comes when our pantries are struggling to keep up with the demand.”
Lift Up America’s vision is to provide important necessities to families and instill hope in the hearts of America’s less-fortunate. Each year Lift Up America partners with corporate supporters and professional and collegiate sports organizations to deliver donations to local communities.
“Lift Up America is proud of the partnership and team spirit between these great organizations,” said Dave Hannah, CEO of Lift Up America. “It is important, especially this time of year, that every company, and individual, identifies ways that they can give back.”
This year is the fifth in which Tyson has partnered with Lift Up America and its network of professional and college sports teams to distribute food and create awareness of the issue of hunger.
“We’ve continued in the fight against hunger in this country for nearly a decade now and we’re hearing the call from across the nation,” says Dick Bond, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “At Tyson our goal is to support families through food donations and to encourage other companies and individuals to identify ways they can share resources and make an impact in the fight against hunger. We are honored to join forces with Lift Up America to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in America.”
More than 36.2 million Americans, including 12.4 million children, are food insecure. Food insecurity in the United States is rising rapidly with the downturn in the economy and employment. Feeding America food banks across the country are experiencing significant increases in requests for food assistance, especially during the holiday season. Click here for more information on rising food insecurity.
Tyson Foods is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork. As part of their ongoing commitment to hunger relief, Tyson Foods has donated more than 54 million pounds of protein to local food banks in the past year. Click here for more information on Tyson Hunger Relief.
Second Harvest Food Bank of North Florida is the oldest and largest program of Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida. LSS was founded in 1979 by area Lutherans and business leaders to fill gaps in services offered in the community for people in need. The Food Bank gathers food from local and national sources, shares these resources with 515 nonprofit organizations in 18 north Florida counties and helps thousands of people each year who are hungry or at risk of not having being able to provide food for themselves and their families. In addition to collecting and distributing food, the Food Bank serves children in after-school programs through its Kids Cafe and in summer camps through its Summer Lunch program. It also takes Mobile Pantries filled with Family Boxes of food to people living in neighborhoods with the greatest needs. Call 904.730.8234 for more information about any of these programs and services.
Here’s Life Inner City is a distribution partner of the Lift Up America strategy. HLIC serves more than 1,400 neighborhood and faith based agencies in cities across America providing the poor with food and other basic necessities, life skills, career development and youth development programs. For more information, please visit www.hlicjax.org.
Lift Up America, founded in 2004, is a collaborative effort of national partners that includes caring companies such as Tyson Foods, Give the Gift of Sight (a Luxottica Group Foundation), Starkey Hearing Foundation, Ty Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc., Interstate Batteries and 37 pro and college sports teams and local non-profit agencies to provide the gift of food, sight, hearing, hope and comfort to our nation’s less fortunate. In 2006, Lift Up America added such major corporations as Starkey Hearing
Foundation, Interstate Batteries and Cinemark Theaters in addition to over 30 other national corporations and business to implement the “Giving Hope Tour,” adding the gift of entertainment to those it serves. Lift Up America, through its sponsors, provided more than $25 million in hearing aids, helped approximately 26,000 people in need of prescription eyeglasses, and delivered 10 million meals, over $40 million in scholarships and over $80 million in gifts-in-kind to the less fortunate across America.
For more information about Lift Up America, please visit www.LiftUpAmerica.org.
Tyson Foods, Inc. [NYSE: TSN], founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. Tyson provides products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 80 countries. The company has approximately 107,000 Team Members employed at more than 300 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it. Visit www.tyson.com for more details.