Tyson Foods Inc. donated 20,000 lbs. of chicken to the Veterans’ Holiday Celebration (VHC) and Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on Nov. 30 as part of an effort to feed people in need and show its commitment for hiring military veterans, reservists and their family members on Wednesday.
The donation was made in conjunction with the 19th annual VHC celebration. Approximately 4,000 veterans will be fed at the event at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration (VA) campus on Dec. 4. The remaining donation has been allocated to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. In total, the donation is the equivalent of 80,000 meals.
“We’re excited about this donation of protein from Tyson Foods,” said Barry Gershenson, executive director of VHC. “We appreciate Tyson supporting our country’s military veterans and also promoting hunger awareness in our community.”
On the first Sunday of every December, the VA of Greater Los Angeles, VA Voluntary Service, more than 100 restaurants, local businesses and the community at large, along with more than 700 volunteers, hold a VHC event with the objective of providing a memorable meal, gifts and entertainment.
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank distributes more than 62 million lbs. of food annually throughout its service area. One million Los Angeles residents, including children and seniors, receive emergency food assistance each year from the food bank and its 900 member agencies.
“This is a very generous donation from Tyson,” said Michael Flood, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. “High quality proteins, especially chicken, are an important nutritional component for our inventory and are in high demand by our agencies and clients. We are truly grateful to Tyson Foods’ commitment and support of our fight against hunger in Los Angeles.”
Earlier this year, Tyson launched the “Know Hunger” campaign to raise hunger awareness. As part of the campaign, the company released the results of a survey that found that one in four Americans is worried about having enough money to put food on the table in the next year. Another key finding is that many Americans are unaware of how serious hunger is in their own communities.
“Since we’re in the food business it makes sense for our company to donate protein to feed people in need; however, we also believe in raising hunger awareness,” said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “We’re encouraging people across the nation, including our own team members, to step forward and get involved in the fight against hunger.”
In addition, Tyson Foods regularly helps support military veterans.
Tyson employs about 3,000 military veterans and is part of the American
Logistics Association, which recently committed, on behalf of its members, to hiring 25,000 veterans and their family members during the next two years. Through brokers, Tyson also employs more than 500 military family members and veterans who help stock Tyson products at military commissaries. The company regularly makes an effort to hire junior military officers who have received training from an outside agency on how to transition from the military to the business world.
“In my experience, current and former military personnel are quality hires for many positions at Tyson Foods,” said Russell Tooley, Tyson Foods SVP of corporate and international human resources. “They’re well-trained and frequently have developed leadership skills. They also fit well with our culture, which places emphasis on honesty, accountability and dedication.”
Another way Tyson Foods supports the military is by providing differential pay for all employees called to active military duty, making up the difference between military compensation and pay they normally receive from Tyson. Since Sept. 11, 2001, Tyson has provided $2 million in differential pay to nearly 400 employees.
Tyson Foods was founded in 1935 and headquartered in Springdale, Ark. It is one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork.
In the photo: Tyson Foods donated 20,000 lbs. of chicken to the Veterans’ Holiday Celebration (VHC) and Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on Nov. 30.