Editor's note: The following article was written by Eric Mittenthal with the American Meat Institute and published on their website.
It has been a difficult month for many in the Midwest as a rash of tornados have destroyed communities like Moore, Okla. As the people in those communities work to rebuild their lives, the meat and poultry industry has led several efforts to feed those in need.
Relief examples include:
- Tyson sent its Meals that Matter disaster relief trailer and cooking teams from several Tyson plants to Moore to provide meals to both victims and disaster relief workers. The trailer was first used to help Hurricane Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey last fall. Tyson was awarded the American Meat Institute’s Edward C. Jones Community Service Award in January for its Meals that Matter program.
- Smithfield has helped through its Helping Hungry Homes program donated more than 40,000 pounds of protein to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to help tornado victims. Overall the program has donated more than 25.4 million servings of protein since 2008.
- Other companies such as Seaboard Foods have made donations through Operation BBQ Relief, which was formed two years ago in response to the Joplin, MO tornado. Operation BBQ Relief has served up BBQ to victims and relief workers following several disasters including the West, Texas plant explosion, Hurricane Sandy and the Moore tornado. Seaboard donated 12,000 pounds of pork and two refrigerated trailers for the relief efforts in Moore. Operation BBQ Relief volunteers have served hundreds of thousands of meals just in their two years of existence.
AMI has also worked with Feeding American for several years through its “Meating the Need” partnership. Through this effort, AMI members have donated millions of pounds of surplus meat and poultry products to Feeding America food banks to help people in need.
These are just a few of the many examples of the ways the meat and poultry industry have helped with recent disasters. The industry is dedicated to helping those in need both in their own communities and nationally when disaster strikes and people need help the most.