Tyson Foods helps South Georgians - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tyson Foods helps South Georgians

January 16, 2008

Dawson- - We live in one of the poorest areas of the country. Poverty is a huge problem in Southwest Georgia. That poverty can lead to other problems like crime, blight, and hunger. A national company with ties to South Georgia is helping out.

Signs of poverty are apparent in many parts of South Georgia. The people who have to live through it often struggle to survive.

"On the average day, were getting at least 15 to 20 calls a day," says Tony Hall with the Southwest Georgia Food bank.

Hall says they call because they're hungry.

"There's a need out there of people that are starving and we need to assist them," he said.

Wednesday, Richard Bond, the CEO of Tyson Foods stopped by to do just that.

"Helping feed the hungry is something that is so important and any contribution we can make to assist that is very important to us," Bond said.

The contribution came in the form of 34,000 pounds of chicken. Bond came to Dawson to meet with community leaders and employees to find out how well the plant there is functioning. The plant got praise from the public.

"Without Tyson, we would have a higher unemployment rate," said Mayor Robert Albritten.

He pointed out how the plant helps out in an annual event for the needy.

"{We} started a mass Thanksgiving dinner and they provide one half of all the turkeys that are provided for those person's meals," he said.

Bond also presented a $2,000 check to the NAACP to help with college scholarships.

"I don't see it as paying Santa Claus, I see it as participating in what we as a company think is important," he said.

Important to go outside its doors and give back to those less fortunate.

"We're getting calls everyday of people saying I need food assistance, how can I get food products?" Hall explains.

His answer will be a little easier now. 

Over the past six years, Tyson has donated 49 million pounds of food to communities.

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