A Tyson Foods grant awarded to High Plains Food Bank will support a new mobile food distribution program.
The distribution will provide high-quality, culturally relevant food boxes for food-insecure community members, many of whom are immigrants, living in neighborhoods near the Tyson plant in Amarillo.
Bethesda Outreach Center, a long-standing partner agency of High Plains Food Bank, will facilitate Saturday distributions.
Bethesda staff and volunteers, along with Tyson Foods volunteers, will support the initiative and continue to strengthen many relationships already established in neighborhoods near the outreach center and the Tyson plant.
Distributions will take place the first Saturday of the month, between 10:00 a.m. and noon.
Food boxes provided will be 20 or more pounds, and contain a healthy, balanced mix of protein, produce, and shelf stable items. Items will vary each month and may include jasmine rice, pinto beans, frozen meat, produce, mackerel in brine, egg noodles, corn, chunk light tuna in water, and peanut butter, to name a few.
HPFB will be sensitive to a variety of cultural preferences.
A major milestone of this partnership is to distribute an additional 180,000 pounds of produce, animal protein, and high-quality shelf-stable foods to a monthly average of 300 eligible individuals, by August of 2019.
Executive Director of High Plains Food Bank, Zack Wilson shared, “We are very excited to partner with Tyson to help us not only help the needs of food insecure families in our area but also focus on a nutritious mix of items that are essential to each person’s diet. We are extremely grateful to Tyson for sharing our vision of feeding with impact.”
The food bank’s strategic plan for 2025, Feed for Today, Strengthen for Tomorrow, Empower for Life, is focused on operational methods that promote the distribution of foods to encourage such as fresh produce, healthy grains, and lean protein.
The food bank will provide a healthier mix of food with a goal to distribute 4.8 million pounds of produce annually.
In 2017, the food bank distributed 8.2 million pounds of food, including 37% fresh produce.
There is a connection between food and wellness, and unfortunately, food insecure households have reported purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food, as a common coping strategy for hunger.
High Plains Food Bank is committed to providing quality food as well as educational materials to prepare healthy food on a budget.
Tyson Foods continues to show its commitment to strengthening families, and the partnership is paramount for HPFB to expand service to the community.
“We are extremely proud to support High Plains Food Bank and its mission to address food insecurity,” said Derek Burleson, Tyson Foods. “By supporting the mobile pantry, we hope to remove any barriers that might prevent those in need from accessing healthy and nutritious food. Thank you to the food bank, its agency partners and the volunteers for ensuring the success of this important initiative.”