Tyson Foods unveils disaster relief trailer
Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 7:00 pm
Tyson Foods Inc. has a history of feeding first responders and survivors in the aftermath of disasters such as 9/11 and the tornados and flooding of 2011. On Friday, the company unveiled a special mobile feeding unit equipped to enhance the company’s disaster relief efforts.
The 53-foot semi-trailer premiered in New York City during a live segment on “Fox & Friends,” cable television’s morning news show.
The trailer will serve as a central supply unit at disaster sites to support the feeding efforts of multiple Tyson “cook teams” that bring grills and Tyson volunteers to help feed those in need.
The trailer is outfitted with enough refrigerated space to store up to 20,000 pounds of chicken, beef or pork, a 5,500-watt generator and satellite communications. It also bears the new name of Tyson Foods’ disaster relief feeding program, “Meals that Matter,” which reflects the company’s long-standing practice of feeding disaster survivors and relief workers.
“For decades we’ve responded to disasters in or near our plant communities in 26 states by doing what we do best — feeding people,” Tyson Foods chairman John Tyson said. “When disasters strike, our team members mobilize and bring in grills, food and volunteers to help out, sometimes for multiple days or even weeks. Our new ‘Meals that Matter’ truck will help those teams by giving them all the supplies they need to make it easier to help.”
With the exception of a grill, the “Meals that Matter” unit has everything needed to set up and run a cooking site including full refrigeration, tents and lights, sanitation equipment, cooking and serving supplies, a generator, hydraulic lift and even a Wi-Fi hot spot for Internet connections via satellite. Mobile grills will be supplied, as needed, by Tyson’s plant locations. More than 40 plant sites are currently capable of responding to disasters by sending grills and Tyson volunteers to cook food.
Tyson Foods will work closely with the American Red Cross during future disaster relief efforts. In February, Tyson signed a formal statement of collaboration with the Red Cross.
“We are grateful for partners like Tyson Foods, who help us prepare for disasters whenever and wherever they may strike,” American Red Cross senior vice president of disaster services Charley Shimanski said.
On average, Tyson is involved in responding to four to five major disasters each year.
In recent years, the company has provided between $300,000 and $500,000 annually in food and financial support to disaster relief.