SPRINGDALE, Ark., Sept. 19, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With more than 49 million Americans fighting hunger, Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) is turning to social media to help boost hunger awareness in the U.S. and let the public choose three food banks to divide a 90,000-pound food donation from the company.
As part of Hunger Action Month in September, Tyson is using Facebook to ask the public to cast votes for ten food banks located in some of the most food insecure counties. The food banks were selected with the assistance of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization. The three food banks earning the most votes will receive 30,000 pounds of protein each. Combined, the three donations will provide the equivalent of 360,000 meals.
The public can begin voting for their food bank of choice on Sept. 19 by going to Tyson Foods' Hunger Relief page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TysonHungerRelief. The winning food banks will be announced shortly after the voting period ends on Sept. 30.
The social media initiative is part of the Tyson Foods' sponsorship of Feeding America's effort to encourage more people to become Advocacy Champions for hunger relief. People who want to join the fight are asked to register with Feeding America's Hunger Action Center: http://hungeractioncenter.org/.
Tyson employees are also getting involved in the hunger awareness effort. In addition to asking its U.S. team members to register as Advocacy Champions, Tyson is coordinating a company-wide competition during the remainder of 2011, encouraging employees to form Hunger Action Teams. The teams will coordinate at least one event in their communities to raise hunger awareness. The best overall team and location will be recognized for their efforts and activities.
"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. "One of the keys to ending hunger in America is mobilizing more people to join the fight. That's why we're encouraging people across the nation, including our own team members, to step forward and get involved."
"Feeding America would like to thank Tyson Foods for their long-standing support of our efforts to raise awareness about our mission," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO, Feeding America. "From their sponsorship of the Hunger Almanac to the support of our Advocacy Champions program, Tyson understands the need for public engagement in the fight to end hunger."
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 which 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.
Tyson Foods has fought hunger in the U.S. for a decade, donating more than 80 million pounds of protein, or the equivalent of 320 million meals. In addition to Feeding America, the company partners with the Food Research and Action Center, Share Our Strength, Lift Up America and the League of United Latin American Citizens to raise awareness and help feed the hungry across the nation.
Meat and poultry are excellent sources of heme iron, which is especially important for women, children and adolescent girls, who are often deficient in iron. For more information on the nutritional value of meat and poultry, go to: http://www.meatpoultrynutrition.org/ht/d/sp/i/26062/pid/26062
For more information on Tyson's hunger relief efforts, go to: www.tysonhungerrelief.com
Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world's largest processors and marketers 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 services to customers throughout the United States and more than 90 countries. The company has approximately 115,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 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.
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Gary Mickelson 479-290-6111