Tyson Foods today was awarded the American Meat Institute’s (AMI) Edward C. Jones Community Service Award during the 2013 AMI International Production & Processing Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia. The award is named in honor of former AMI Board member, the late Edward C. Jones of Jones Dairy Farm, in Ft. Atkinson, Wis., who was a model of community service.
Tyson has a long history of involvement in hunger and disaster relief. Those efforts were expanded in 2012, when the company launched a new “Meals That Matter” disaster relief program. As part of the program, the company launched a special mobile feeding unit equipped to enhance the company's disaster relief efforts.
The 53-foot semi-trailer was unveiled in April and 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.
Their new program was timely, as Hurricane Sandy would soon devastate the East Coast and send the trailer on its inaugural voyage.
On November 2, 2012, Tyson’s Meals That Matter First Strike team, led by Pat Bourke from the transportation division, Sherri Austin from external relations, and Tyson drivers Don Richie and Jay Wheels, arrived in Bayonne, New Jersey, with volunteers from Shelbyville, Tennessee, to feed those in need. During the next few days, they were joined by teams from locations around the country to feed thousands of meals to storm victims and emergency responders.
On November 7, 2012, the operation moved to Staten Island, New York, where the pace increased to 8,000 meals a day at its peak. Tyson also received aid from customers, Shop Rite, Restaurant Depot and Compass. The Tyson team worked outside for many long days in rainy, cold weather. By the time President Obama visited Staten Island, more than 50,000 meals had been served to an extremely grateful community. Team Members also pitched in with thousands in in cash donations to the Red Cross, which the company matched.
Tyson previously assisted in disaster relief following the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the tornadoes and floods of 2011.
“Clearly, the caring nature of Tyson team members is not new,” said AMI Chairman Nick Meriggioli, president of Kraft Foods., Inc./Oscar Mayer. “Their significant new efforts this year through the Meals that Matter Disaster Relief program that played such an important role in Hurricane Sandy relief makes the company very worthy of the 2013 Edward C. Jones Community Service Award.”