Cargill donates 30,000 pounds of turkey to Arkansas food banks
Gift to support hunger relief efforts in Northwest and West Central Arkansas regions during holiday season
SPRINGDALE, Ark. - November 18, 2015 – Just in time for Thanksgiving, Cargill is doing its part to help families in Northwest and West Central Arkansas by providing 15,000 pounds each to the Northwest Arkansas (NWA) Food Bank and the River Valley Regional Food Bank.
“Whether a family is going through a difficult time, or regularly seeks assistance from our local food banks, they deserve to have access to nutritional, wholesome protein,” said Shane Acosta, Cargill’s Springdale complex general manager. “We are thrilled to be a part of a mission of getting delicious turkey on the plates of those who would otherwise not be able to afford it.”
Cargill’s total donation of 30,000 pounds of bone-in turkey breasts will provide approximately 100,000 servings of turkey to families in need.
“The notion of nourishing people is woven into Cargill’s cultural fiber, and we are proud to demonstrate what that means in our very own community,” said Acosta. “Even with the constraints to turkey supply earlier in the year, we are thrilled to be able to continue our partnership with the local food banks and help support their mission in any way that we can. The farmers that work on the 700 independent farms that raise turkeys for Cargill share our pride in helping nourish people throughout America.”
In 2014, the NWA Food Bank served more than 750,000 people in its service area. The River Valley Regional Food Bank provides support for just over 55,000 Arkansans living in the river valley identified as food insecure, roughly 18 percent of the population in the region. Combined, the food banks provide support for 12 counties and distribute product to agencies in their respective areas including food pantries, senior centers, shelters, after school programs, day care programs and other non-profit organizations.
“As families gather together to celebrate this bountiful year, it is hard to believe that one in four families in Northwest Arkansas will not have a Thanksgiving meal,” said Carrie Harlow, director of development at NWA Food Bank. “It is with the generous support from Cargill that the NWA Food Bank will be able to provide turkey and other fixings to those in need this holiday season.”
“We appreciate what Cargill does for the food bank and for those in need in our local communities. This donation will provide a good healthy source of protein to many in need and will give them something to be thankful for,” said Ted Clemons, director of the River Valley Food Bank.
According to Feeding America, one of Cargill’s nutrition and health partners, statistics show that one in five people in the state of Arkansas struggles with hunger, compared to a national average of one in seven people.
“We are thankful for Cargill’s generosity, especially during this time of year,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas secretary of agriculture. “The positive impact this will provide for families across Northwest and West Central Arkansas is invaluable, because so many families will now have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.”
Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats is based in Wichita, Kansas and operates processing facilities in Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Virginia. The Springdale complex was established in 1965 and employs more than 1,100 people. In the past year, the facility has donated more than $125,000 to local organizations.
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