Tyson Foods to provide 80,000 meals to combat food insecurity

A gift from Tyson Foods will provide 80,000 meals to people in the US state of Iowa who are food insecure through Beef Up Iowa programme.
calendar icon 20 October 2020
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The Beef Up Iowa programme is a partnership among Iowa State University, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Food Bank Association and Iowa’s beef industry organisations, and is an initiative of Governor Reynolds’ Feeding Iowans Task Force led by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg.

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation accepted a $50,000 donation from Tyson Foods on 13 October. Tyson’s gift will help purchase cattle and cover the cost of harvesting and processing.

“We are committed to addressing the issue of food insecurity in our communities,” said Steve Stouffer, group president, Tyson Fresh Meats. “Beef Up Iowa is a great opportunity for us to support an innovative partnership that not only provides high quality, wholesome protein to individuals and families in need, but also recognises and helps independent producers from the state of Iowa who are committed to sustainably raising high-quality livestock. We value and rely on our independent cattle producer partners every day to help us show the world how much good food can do as we strive to feed the world.”

Since Beef Up Iowa launched this summer, over 40 head of cattle have been processed generating 30,000 pounds of beef. The cattle were purchased from Iowa youth who raised the animals as 4H or FFA projects.

The gift from Tyson foods enables Beef Up Iowa to handle an additional 40 head of cattle, 20,000 pounds of ground beef, or 80,000 meals.

“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our entire food system and our economy. But when times get tough, the Iowa agriculture community rallies together to help those in need,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “The Beef Up Iowa food security initiative is a great example of Iowans stepping up to help others. I’m grateful to all our partners who helped make this programme successful, including Governor Reynolds for allocating CARES Act funds to cover programme costs, Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation for connecting us with 4-H and FFA members, and Iowa State University for reopening its processing facility to help meet demands at local food banks.”

The animals are harvested at the Iowa State University Meat Lab and the beef is distributed to Iowa food banks.

“We at Iowa State University are humbled to be a part of the Beef Up Programme. These activities help bring communities together around food production and the humanity of agriculture. It provides our faculty, staff and students life changing servant leadership opportunities,” said Dr Dan Thomson, professor and chair of the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University.

The Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation help administer the programme.

“The Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation is extremely thankful for the gift from Tyson Foods,” said Maynard Hogberg, board member of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation. “The generous donation allows us to help youth in the cattle industry while sharing the benefits of beef with other Iowans, two vital pieces of our mission.”

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