Fighting hunger in middle Tennessee is the focus of a new, two year project by The National Urban League and Tyson Foods Inc. The two organizations announced their plans to support hunger relief and awareness at a news conference in Nashville that included a 30,000 pound food donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

“Many people believe that America has recovered from the recession, but the fact of the matter is that food banks across the country continue to experience an increase in people seeking food assistance services,” said Jaynee Day, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. “This partnership will not only help Second Harvest continue to raise awareness of hunger issues, but it will also provide a valuable resource for individuals and families to learn how to access food assistance programs and provide more nutritious meals at home.”

Last year, the National Urban League and Tyson Foods teamed up to address hunger in Mississippi, the most food insecure state in the nation. They worked with the Urban League of Greater Jackson to donate 115,000 pounds of food, host nutrition and wellness fairs in Jackson and Vicksburg and help the Mississippi Food Network increase the number of agencies distributing food to some of the state’s most underserved areas.

Because of the success of this one-year pilot project, the National Urban League and Tyson Foods have decided to proceed with a similar initiative in Tennessee, where one in four children is considered food insecure. The Urban League of Middle Tennessee will spearhead local efforts to bring awareness to food resources and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) services in addition to the promotion of healthy eating and decreasing health disparities in Tennessee. Some of the more than 4,000 people Tyson Foods employs in Tennessee will also be involved in volunteer efforts along with assistance from local Urban League affiliate Guild and Young Professional auxiliary members.

“The Urban League of Middle Tennessee (ULMT) appreciates the opportunity to add its voice to those who have an established track record in the fight against hunger here in Middle Tennessee, namely Second Harvest Food Bank, said president and CEO of ULMT Patricia Stokes. “ It is our hope that this endeavor will strengthen our community and move individuals and families who are health challenged toward improved health and those who are food insecure toward greater security.”

Tyson Foods is one of the world’s largest food companies and has a customer base that includes restaurants, grocery stores and school districts in urban areas. The company has been active in hunger relief more many years, donating more than donated 93million pounds of protein to food banks other relief agencies since 2000. As part of its KNOW Hunger campaign, Tyson Foods helped fund one of the largest and most comprehensive studies ever conducted on attitudes and perceptions of hunger, discovering that one-in-four Americans worry about having enough money to put food on the table.

Source: Tyson Foods Inc.