Meat companies lend hand to tornado-ravaged Southeast
“We’re shocked and saddened by the impact of these powerful spring storms and are pitching in to the help those whose lives have been turned upside down by the devastation,” said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods.
Hormel Foods Corp. has also given assistance to the affected areas, announcing a donation of three semi-trailer loads of Hormel Compleats microwave meals, which is about 165,000 meals, to Feeding America food banks to aid in relief efforts for Alabama and the southeastern United States.
“We extend our condolences to everyone who has been affected by this devastation,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods. “As relief efforts begin, we hope these meals will provide a source of nourishment.”
Tyson currently has six cooking teams stationed in northern Alabama to help feed disaster relief workers, as well as employees, contract poultry growers and local residents who have been affected by the storms. In addition to delivering four truckloads of meat, poultry and tortillas, the company has also brought in ice and 27,000 bottles of water.
Tyson Foods employs approximately 2,000 people in Alabama and depends on more than 340 contract poultry growers in the state. The company’s Blountsville and Albertville chicken processing plants were not damaged by the recent storm but were idled when they lost power. The Albertville facility remains without electricity.
Some northern Alabama chicken farms that raise birds for Tyson had chicken houses that were destroyed or damaged. The company is helping the affected contract chicken growers with clean up efforts.
In central North Carolina, Tyson donated a truckload of chicken and a truckload of tortillas to the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and the Christian United Outreach Center to help with relief efforts. Thousands of North Carolina residents were recently affected by tornados, including people in Sanford, where Tyson operates a tortilla plant. Plant employees raised $1,750 and donated clothing and household items to help a co-worker whose home was destroyed in the storm.
In Arkansas, Tyson shipped a truckload of food this week to the Arkansas Food Bank Network of Little Rock to help in the aftermath of tornadoes that hit the central region of the state.
The state of Iowa also recently experienced tornado damage. Employees of Tyson Fresh Meats in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, and in Storm Lake, Iowa, collected and donated more than $2,000 to help with disaster relief. A majority of the money was donated to the Siouxland Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, some was used to support employees who experienced storm damage and other funds went to help feed relief workers who were removing debris from farm fields. In addition, ground beef donations were made to two local food pantries.
Sources: Tyson Foods Inc., Hormel Foods Corp.