Lift Up America and the Jacksonville Jaguars are teamed up with Tyson Foods, Inc. to tackle one of Jacksonville's most pressing issues -- hunger. Jacksonville Jaguars players were on hand Wednesday to help unload and distribute the 30,000 pounds of protein donated by Tyson. Second Harvest will distribute the food to more than 30 agencies throughout the Jacksonville area. The donation event was held at EverBank Field at 4 p.m., followed by a news conference with speakers which included Jaguars General Manager, Gene Smith.
"In this critical time of need for so many hungry families, it is encouraging to see these caring organizations come together to lift the human spirit of others," said Eric Hannah, president of Lift Up America.
The need for food assistance is greater today than ever before. Across Second Harvest Food Bank of North Florida 17-county service area, nearly 342,000 people are food insecure. As the regional Feeding America food bank, Second Harvest provides food and household products to more than 450 not-forprofit agencies, serving thousands of families each week.
"This is a critical time for our community," said Bruce Ganger, Second Harvest Executive Director. "The protein being distributed today is much needed by our agencies and will help make it possible for our network to continue providing food for 1 in 6 people in the community who do not know where their next meal will come from."
Last year, Second Harvest distributed more than 18 million pounds of food and household products. Due to the slow economy and high unemployment, the number of people seeking help from Second Harvest network continues to increase.
There are millions of hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are faced with the realities of hunger and malnourishment," said John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods. "We are trying to make a difference in their lives by providing nutrient-rich protein and by increasing understanding of hunger in our country."
Protein is an excellent source of energy and an important part of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, protein is the item that is donated to food banks the least. The chicken donated today by Tyson is one of the most concentrated sources of protein—an essential nutrient of life.
"We are grateful to Lift Up America, Tyson Foods and the Jacksonville Jaguars for coming together to provide nutritious protein that will help thousands of local families," said Ganger.
Second Harvest North Florida
Second Harvest North Florida is the oldest and largest program of Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida. LSS was founded in 1979 by area Lutherans and business leaders to fill gaps in services offered in the community for people in need. Second Harvest gathers food from local and national sources, shares these resources with more than 450 nonprofit organizations in 17 north Florida counties and helps thousands of people each year who are hungry or at risk of not having being able to provide food for themselves and their families. In addition to collecting and distributing food, Second Harvest serves children in after-school programs through its Kids Cafe and BackPack programs and in summer camps through its Summer Lunch program. It also takes Mobile Pantries filled with Family Boxes of food to people living in neighborhoods with the greatest needs. Call 904.730.8234 for more information about any of these programs and services.
Lift Up America
Founded in 2004, is a collaborative effort of companies including Tyson, Ty and Give the Gift of Sight (a Luxottica Group Foundation), working with professional and college sports teams and local nonprofit agencies to provide the gifts of food, sight, hearing, hope and comfort to our nation's less fortunate. In 2006 Lift Up America added such major corporations as Starkey Hearing Foundation, Interstate Batteries and Cinemark Theaters to implement the "Giving Hope Tour," adding the gift of entertainment to those we serve. Lift Up America, through our sponsors, provided more than $25 million in hearing aids, helped approximately 26,000 people in need of prescription eyeglasses, delivered 20 million meals and over 40 million dollars in scholarships to the less fortunate across America. For more information about Lift Up America, please visit www.LiftUpAmerica.org.
Tyson Foods, Inc.
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. To find out more about the Tyson Foods commitment to hunger relief, go to http://www.tysonhungerrelief.com