Tyson Foods, Inc., in conjunction with the Animal Agriculture Alliance's College Aggies Scholarship Competition (CAO) and the Montana State University Collegiate Cattlewomen, donated a truckload of protein to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank located in Bozeman, Montana.
The truckload of protein arrived Feb. 27 at approximately 9:00 a.m. This incredible donation of meat products was the result of a challenge posed to this fall's participants in the Alliance's CAO program.
"We're always looking for ways to raise awareness about the seriousness of hunger across the country," said Tyson Foods' director of social media Jack Pate. "And this is one of those events that does that, while meeting the immediate need of hunger that so many face."
An online competition open to all college students with an interest in agriculture, CAO aims to help college students utilize social media and advocacy to share agriculture's story. Since its launch in 2009, more than 1500 college students from more than 100 different colleges and universities have registered to participate in the program.
This fall, participating clubs were assigned a variety of challenges, including hosting a food drive on their college campuses. The club that collected the most food for their local food bank would receive a donation of protein in their name from program sponsor Tyson Foods. This year's food drive challenge winner was an agriculture club at Montana State University, which collected nearly 500 pounds of food.
"Tyson Foods has long had a tradition of charitable giving targeted towards hunger relief efforts," said Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith. "We are so proud that through Tyson's sponsorship of our CAO program, we were able to inspire this year's participants to give back to their local communities."
Meat and poultry are nutrient dense foods, according to health experts, and can be especially helpful to people who need more protein including children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone undergoing severe stress, disease or disability. According to food banks nationwide, meat and poultry are the most requested and least available foods.
"We are grateful for the 500 lbs. of food that the MSU Collegiate Cattlewomen collected for the food drive and then we were informed of this incredible donation through the Animal Ag Alliance's competition," said Jill Holder, Operations Manager for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. "This is the largest single food donation that we have received and we are thrilled. The truckload of protein is so significant that we will be able to help local families for nearly a year. We are thankful for our local club that showed such initiative and to Tyson for their charitable giving."