Tyson workers do their part to aid Alabama tornado victims
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 9:11 pm
Team members from Tyson Foods’ Union City facility traveled to Alabama to cook meals and provide ice and bottled water to victims, power crews and other emergency responders.
Union City employees were on location April 29 through May 2. A team of management and management support fed about 2,000 people from two cook stations.
Tyson Foods Inc. has donated six truckloads of meat and one truckload of tortillas, or about 240,000 total pounds of food for relief efforts.
“We’re shocked and saddened by the impact of these powerful spring storms and are pitching in to help those whose lives have been turned upside down by the devastation,” said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods.
In addition to food, Tyson’s relief efforts have included the donation of six truckloads of ice (about 150,000 pounds) and four truckloads of bottled water (more than 140,000 servings), as well as diesel fuel to many growers who had to operate their farms with generators.
About 150 Tyson team members from Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Geor-gia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Missouri were deployed to various locations in northern Alabama to prepare meals for relief workers, employees, residents and growers. There were as many as 18 separate cook teams operating at different times during the week following the disaster.
Since power has been restored to most of the area, Tyson teams have discontinued cooking, but the company will continue to supply many area church kitchens working on relief with meat protein.
“Our team members wanted to help Tyson family members, Tyson’s growers and all relief workers,” said Keith Riley, complex manager. “I’m proud of the employees who went down on short notice to cook and provide support to those affected by this disaster.”
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 storm but dealt with power outages. Power to the Blountsville plant was restored the Thursday after the storm; power to Albertville was restored late Tuesday.
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. Tyson’s Sanford facility was not damaged; however, a tornado touched down nearby. 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 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, S.D., 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 food pantries.
Tyson Foods Inc., founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Ark., 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 about 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.
Published in The Messenger 5.11.11