For the fourth time in six years, Tyson Foods donated more than 34,000 pounds full of chicken products for food insecure households in the Delta, to be distributed through Mid-South Food Bank to Partner Agencies in multiple counties.
The Aug. 12 arrival the Tyson truck to its stop at the Tunica Health & Wellness Center was arranged through discussions between Tyson and the Washington, D.C., legislative office of Miss. Congressman Bennie Thompson.
“This donation goes a long way to help people in need,” said Tunica County Supervisor James Dunn, on hand to see at the arrival of the truck along with other dignitaries, including Thompson.
Lakeisha Edwards, director of programs at Mid-South Food Bank said, “Mid-South Food Bank is especially grateful for the tremendous donation from Tyson, which serves as a great example of community stakeholders making an investment in helping our hungry neighbors.”
While the unemployment rate in Tunica County has improved to single digits, according to Dunn, he noted there remains a lot of working adults who still suffer from a shortage of food - people referred to as the working poor. The food insecurity rate, according to Feeding America, is 33 percent in Coahoma, one of the highest rates in nation.
“We are doing more in Tunica to tackle these challenges, taking a serious look at the large needs in the community with a valid effort to support Mid-South Food Bank, which supports hungry residents,” Dunn said.
The Tyson donation coincided with a meeting of about 1,000 representatives from the Congressional Black Caucus, with Thompson calling the donation the “high mark” of the convention.
Part of the Tyson chicken products will be distributed to a culinary apprenticeship program, called Mississippi Delta Café de Rec, where executive director Billy Willis said high school participants will use the chicken to help feed more than 300 children in its weekly supper feeding program, in addition to a monthly Saturday meal the students offer for those in the community.
Kevin Riley, regional sales manager for Tyson Foodservice Distribution, said the company has a pattern of making donations.
“We too often get