Indians, partners bring food to hungry in Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- Lift Up America and the Cleveland Indians are teaming up with Tyson Foods, Inc. for the fifth consecutive year to help bring the gift of food to the area’s less fortunate this Friday, September 14 at Progressive Field. The participating organizations will host a press conference beginning at 12:00 p.m., with the food distribution scheduled to last until 1:00 p.m.

Representing the Indians, Matt Dolan will host the event, and will be joined by representatives from Tyson Foods, Inc., Lift Up America, Insurance Partners Agency and the Cleveland Foodbank.

"In this critical time of need for so many hungry families, it is encouraging to see these caring corporations come together to lift the human spirit of others,” said Eric Hannah, president of Lift Up America.  

"Our communities and people are intertwined and depend on each other. Each of us has or will experience challenging times. We're honored to help with this important effort and challenge every person to do what they can,” said George Dadas, president of Insurance Partners Agency.

September is Hunger Action Month and Feeding America’s nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, including Cleveland Foodbank, are calling upon communities to take action to fight domestic hunger.

Cleveland Foodbank provides food and critical nonfood products to more than 600 programs that serve hungry men, women and children. A 2010 Feeding America hunger study reported that 79 percent of Cleveland Foodbank clients have incomes below the federal poverty line, and 34 percent of clients are under the age of 18.

“There are millions of hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are faced with the realities of hunger,” said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc.  “We want to make a difference in these people’s lives by helping them provide nutritious food for themselves and their families.”

Tyson Foods has fought hunger in the U.S. for over a decade, donating more than 88 million pounds of food, or the equivalent of 352 million meals, since 2000. In addition to Feeding America, the company partners with the Food Research and Action Center, Share Our Strength, Lift Up America and the League of United Latin American Citizens to raise awareness and help feed the hungry across the nation.

For more information on Tyson's hunger relief efforts, go to: www.tysonhungerrelief.com

Lift Up America, founded in 2004, is a collaborative effort of companies including Tyson, Ty and Give the Gift of Sight (a Luxottica Group Foundation), working with professional and college sports teams and local nonprofit agencies to provide the gifts of food, sight, hearing, hope and comfort to our nation’s less fortunate.  In 2006 Lift Up America added such major corporations as Starkey Hearing Foundation, Interstate Batteries and Cinemark Theaters to implement the “Giving Hope Tour,” adding the gift of entertainment to those we serve. Lift Up America, through our sponsors, provided more than $25 million in hearing aids, helped approximately 26,000 people in need of prescription eyeglasses, delivered 10 million meals and over 40 million dollars in scholarships to the less fortunate across America.  For more information about Lift Up America, please visit www.LiftUpAmerica.org

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:  TSN), founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world's largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500.  The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. Tyson provides products and services to customers throughout the United States and more than 130 countries. The company has approximately 115,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.

Deeply committed to the communities that we all share, Insurance Partners Agency is a leading independent insurance agency that specializes in business and personal insurance with 63 employees in five northeast Ohio locations. IPA is licensed in all 48 contiguous states providing customers enhanced service capabilities outside of Ohio. IPA also has full international insurance service capabilities. www.inspartners.com

The Cleveland Foodbank serves nearly 600 soup kitchens, food pantries and other organizations that provide food to the hungry in Northeast Ohio. The mission of the Cleveland Foodbank is to alleviate hunger by providing food and support to community organizations that feed the hungry. In FY 2011, the Cleveland Foodbank distributed 34.5 million pounds of food, enough for 29 million meals, to agencies in six counties: Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Richland. For more information about the Foodbank, visit: www.clevelandfoodbank.org.