Published on 03/05/15

University of Georgia students donate 30,400 pounds of chicken to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia

By Merritt Melancon

Members of the University of Georgia’s Dairy Science Club recently worked with Tyson Foods and the Animal Agriculture Alliance to donate 30,400 pounds of frozen chicken to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.

Club members won the right to donate the poultry payload after winning a national, Tyson Foods–sponsored food drive contest through the agricultural advocacy group Animal Agriculture Alliance’s College Aggies Online (CAO) program. Thirty one colleges across the country participated in the contest.

“The opportunity to watch students grow during their involvement in College Aggies Online was tremendous. We are thankful to have companies, such as Tyson, that truly support young people having a voice regarding agriculture in this country,” said Jillian Bohlen, assistant professor of animal and dairy science at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and advisor to the Dairy Science Club. “Through these activities, I think we will see long-lived rewards for the students, the agricultural industry and food banks, such as the one here in Athens. We are both proud and happy to have been a part of this process.”

The 30,400 pounds of chicken will provide 120,000 servings of protein to food-insecure families over the 14 counties served by the Athens-based food bank. This week’s donation was in addition to the 250 pounds of food that club members collected at a food drive during a campuswide food drive that culminated with Dairy Fun Night.

“We were grateful for the food that University of Georgia’s Dairy Science Club collected through their food drive, and are even more excited to receive this truckload of chicken from Tyson,” said John Becker, president and CPO of the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia. “We appreciate the club’s dedication to fighting hunger in our community and are very thankful to Tyson for their significant contribution.”

“Tyson Foods has a rich history of supporting hunger relief efforts nationwide,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Animal Agriculture Alliance president and CEO. “We are so proud that we were able to inspire this year’s CAO participants to give back to their local communities through Tyson’s sponsorship and involvement in the program.”

The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is home to 1,941 undergraduate and graduate students working in nine departments, including agricultural and applied economics, agricultural leadership, education and communication, animal and dairy science, crop and soil sciences, entomology, food science and technology, horticulture, plant pathology and poultry science.

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is an industry-united, nonprofit organization that helps bridge the communication gap between farm and fork. The alliance connects key food industry stakeholders to arm them with responses to emerging issues and engages food chain influencers and promotes consumer choice by helping them better understand modern animal agriculture.

Tyson Foods, Inc. , headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world's largest producers of chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods that include leading brands such as Tyson, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee frozen bakery, and other brands. Tyson Foods provides a wide variety of protein-based and prepared foods products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, supplying customers throughout the United States and approximately 130 countries. It has approximately 124,000 employees at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world.

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

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