2018 Sustainability Report

Hunger Relief

Raising the world’s expectations for how much good food can do means doing good in the communities where we live, work and do business.

Helping to Feed Those Most in Need

More than 41 million Americans live in food-insecure households, according to Feeding America. Hunger exists in every state, city and community in our country. We are deeply committed to relieving hunger in the U.S. and lending a helping hand to communities affected by food insecurity.

We formalized that commitment in 2015 by pledging “50 in 5”: to give $50 million in cash or in-kind donations over five years to fight hunger. As of the end of FY2018, we had donated $45.9 million toward this pledge. We anticipate meeting our $50 million target in FY2019.

In 2018, we focused our food insecurity efforts on providing strategic grants and food product donations to regional food banks serving our communities, collaborative partnerships with hunger-related organizations, kicking off our Community Pantry initiative, and our Meals that Matter® and Miles that Matter programs.


50 in 5 Pledge

Meals that matter food line

The Tyson Foods Meals that Matter® disaster relief team feed hurricane victims and volunteers in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

pat bourke profile icon
Sustainably Feeding the World, Together

Pat Bourke,
Social Responsibility

Sharing Food with Our Neighbors

Running a corporate cafeteria can be unpredictable, with customer traffic varying by hundreds of people per day. At our Springdale headquarters, the kitchen prepares by making more food than necessary to avoid running out. This means that there are often large quantities of leftovers that are perfectly safe to eat – but no one at the company to eat them.

That began to change when Tyson’s CSR team provided grants to the University of Arkansas and Arkansas Tech University to fund their food recovery programs.

“We saw how well their programs were working,” says Pat Bourke, program manager for our CSR team, “and we decided to partner with the cafeteria team to launch our own initiative using best practices from the universities.”

Now, at 2 p.m. sharp every Monday through Thursday, cafeteria staff at our Springdale headquarters move buffet pans to the kitchen, where volunteers from one of two local nonprofits pack and take surplus food back to their facilities to serve clients. The process takes as little as 10 minutes, but it makes a big difference: since June 2017, Tyson has donated more than 12,000 pounds of food that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Samaritan Community Center chefs Leslie Tucker and Mason Thomason pack up leftovers at the Tyson Foods Springdale HQ cafeteria.

samaritan house food help

miles that matter event

Miles That Matter

Our Miles that Matter program encourages team members to walk, run or cycle for charity. For every mile logged, we donate a pound of food to a local food bank. In 2018, we expanded the program to an additional eight sites, taking it from one chapter in FY2017 with donations of approximately 50,000 pounds to nine chapters in FY2018 with total donations of more than 250,000 pounds.

Community Pantry Initiative

We also kicked off our Community Pantry initiative, which is designed to develop a best-in-class model for community food pantries. The program aims to increase the provision of high-quality protein and other foods in the community while enhancing the pantry’s capacity to provide food and decreasing costs to secure it. At the same time, it increases the number of distribution outlets for food as well as the capacity of pantries to receive chilled and frozen protein. Increasing community pantry capacity enables Tyson to donate product more directly to people facing hunger insecurity in our communities. It also serves to decrease costs associated with transporting excess product farther distances to regional food bank locations.

In late FY2018, we began piloting a program in a community pantry in Wilkesboro, NC called the Samaritan Kitchen of Wilkes, and are still processing the key learnings. We’re taking cues from other areas of the business about which plant communities to pilot an additional 12-15 pantries in 2019. For example, when considering pantries for the pilot project, we evaluate the following criteria:

  • Estimated storage capacity and ability to receive product, including chilled and frozen product.
  • Ability of the pantry to handle large-volume donations in terms of staffing, equipment and operating hours.
  • Whether the pantry owns or leases their building to determine whether capital investments have longevity.
  • Current operating hours and/or willingness to change operating hours to accommodate community demand.
  • Operating budget and ability to sustain facility for a three-year period.
  • Sustainability of staffing plan and reliance on volunteers
  • Alignment of pantry’s service area with communities near Tyson Foods plants.

In FY2018, we donated more than 46 million servings of protein to hunger relief efforts across the U.S. From FY2017 to FY2018, we increased our total (hunger and non-hunger) product donations by 2,183,659 servings.

Food Product Donations

Donating food products is a win-win for our communities and our business. We provide food to those in need and, in the process, reduce food waste within our operations. Product donations are also the main vehicle through which our team members engage with communities, whether by volunteering at a food bank or hitting the road to help deploy our Meals that Matter® disaster relief program.

Hunger Relief Donations* Non-Hunger Donations** Total***
Servings Donated 46,065,388
(11,516,347 lbs.)
(769,852 lbs.)
(12,286,199 lbs.)
Donation Value $14,391,538 $1,287,739 $15,679,277

Food Donations Map

Strategic Partnerships

Feeding America

We are a Mission Partner with Feeding America, donating cash and in-kind donations as well as volunteers, board service and disaster relief partnership support to the organization and its network of food banks. In May 2018, we announced a $1.2 million investment in grants to 18 Feeding America food banks in 15 states. The investments represent approximately 4 million pounds of food or the equivalent of 16 million servings of protein that will be distributed to address food insecurity.

In 2018, we announced results from our Tyson Foods Protein Innovation Fund, which we established in 2015 in collaboration with Feeding America. The fund’s goal was to provide $1 million over two years to food banks to build innovative local and national animal protein sourcing programs with processors and animal protein donors. With the goal of sourcing more protein to feed food insecure families, the Fund invests in furthering food banks’ understanding of meat processors and connecting them with more farmers and processors. Projects financed by the Protein Innovation Fund in FY2018 provided more than 800,000 pounds of additional animal protein to feed families facing hunger while also generating information for Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks.

Our grants support a variety of critical capacity expansions that help food banks increase their ability to store, process and deliver food, such as building new warehouse capacity, purchase of refrigerated delivery vehicles, launching a mobile food pantry program and support of fundraising education. Grant recipients included:

  • Arkansas Food Bank, Arkansas
  • Second Harvest Inland Northwest, Washington
  • Northern Illinois Food Bank, Illinois
  • Greater Chicago Food Depository, Illinois
  • High Plains Food Bank, Texas
  • Northwest Arkansas Food Bank, Arkansas
  • Second Harvest Community Foodbank, Missouri
  • Mississippi Food Network, Mississippi
  • San Antonio Food Bank, Texas
  • Food Bank for the Heartland, Nebraska
  • Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Indiana
  • Community Food Bank of Central Alabama • River Bend Food Bank, Iowa
The Tyson Foods Protein Innovation Fund
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