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Photo Release - Tyson Foods and the National Urban League Partner to Fight Hunger in Mississippi

Jun 21, 2012
Pilot Program Targets State With the Highest Rate of Food Insecurity

JACKSON, Miss., June 21, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) announced today a partnership with the National Urban League to establish a grassroots, community-based hunger awareness and relief program that will provide resources to Mississippi citizens impacted by food insecurity.

Image: Urban League -Tyson Foods Hunger Project Mississippi L-R: Ray Ables, manager of grow out operations at Tyson Foods' Forest, Miss. complex, Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc., and Marc H. Morial, CEO of the National Urban League at the Urban League - Tyson Foods Hunger Project Mississippi kick-off on June 21.

A photo accompanying this release is available at Dubbed the Urban League –Tyson Foods Hunger Project Mississippi, Tyson and the National Urban League are targeting the state because it has the highest percentage of food insecurity in the U.S. according1 to Feeding America. Launching in Jackson, this collaborative project will provide education and hunger relief statewide. The project will provide assistance to the estimated 19,000 people who are food insecure in Adams and Warren counties.

During the year-long pilot, Tyson Foods, the Urban League of Greater Jackson and the Mississippi Food Network (MFN) will work to improve access to food for people facing hunger by increasing the number of MFN member agencies distributing food in some of the most underserved areas of Mississippi. They will also host a pair of community fairs in Jackson and Vicksburg that will raise awareness through food preparation demonstrations, couponing workshops, education about food agency resources, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) registration, and nutritional, health and wellness education.

"Tyson Foods is honored to partner with an organization like the National Urban League that has a rich history of elevating the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities," said  Donnie Smith , president and CEO, Tyson Foods, Inc. "Both Tyson Foods and the National Urban League have facilities in Mississippi, so we'll be going straight into our own communities to begin to alleviate the problem of hunger. We want to show America what can happen when a corporation and non-profit organization come together to fight hunger."

"Nearly 25 percent of African-American households face hunger every day₂ and Adams and Warren counties have been impacted by the sharp rise in food and fuel costs and cuts made to federal assistance programs," said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League. "This partnership enables and empowers the people of Jackson by providing valuable resources and necessary access to quality food."

To commemorate the alliance, Tyson Foods today announced the donation of 30,400 pounds of protein, which will be distributed through the Mississippi Food Network. The announcement was made as part of the kick-off event held at The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Since 2000, Tyson has donated 86 million pounds of much-needed protein to hundreds of food banks, food pantries and relief agencies in 48 states. In 2011, Tyson helped fund one of the largest and most comprehensive study ever conducted on attitudes and perceptions of hunger. The study found that one-in-four Americans worry about having enough money to put food on the table.

In order to receive assistance from the SNAP, individuals must live below 130 percent of poverty level. For a family of four, that means an income of less than $2,389 per month. In Adams County, 61 percent of the population lives below 130 percent of the poverty line and in Warren County that number falls to 51 percent.

For more information about the Urban League–Tyson Foods Hunger Project Mississippi, visit

Tyson Foods

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 130 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.

The Tyson Foods, Inc. logo is available at

National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy. Today, there are nearly 100 local affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.

Mississippi Food Network

Mississippi Food Network accumulates, stores and distributes food and household items to charities and local agencies who serve needy people. The Network, headquartered in Jackson, serves over 415 member agencies that are either churches or 501c3 nonprofit agencies. Approximately 175,000 people are served each month with food distributed by Mississippi Food Network. In 2011, MFN delivered more than 19.5 million pounds of food items to Emergency Food Pantries, Day Care Centers, Emergency Shelters, Group Homes, Soup Kitchens, Teen Centers, Alcohol and Drug Rehabs, Afterschool Programs, Homeless Shelters and Senior Citizen Programs.

1 Feeding America

2 Feeding America statistic

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

CONTACT: Jeff Wood, Tyson Foods, Inc.
         479-290-3486 or

         Sydney Ayers, Mitchell Communications Group
         479-439-3770 or

Tyson Foods, Inc.
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