Tyson Foods Inc., one of the nation's leading suppliers of meat and poultry to schools, is teaming up with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in the fight against childhood obesity.
Tyson and the alliance will work together to continue increasing the availability and affordability of more nutritious food products to help schools comply with federal nutrition standards and serve healthier meals to millions of students in the U.S.
The announcement was made at a Brooklyn, N.Y., high school where Tyson Foods has funded improvements in the school's student wellness room.
By working with the alliance, Tyson Foods joins other leading school meal manufacturers pledging to set prices for healthier items -- which meet the alliance's science-based standards for nutrition -- at a cost no more than 10 percent higher than traditional, comparable products. This makes compliance with federal and voluntary nutrition guidelines financially easier. Similar to the other participating manufacturers, Tyson has also committed to increase sales of its compliant products to at least 50 percent of the company's entire school sales within five years.
Manufacturers also have committed to aggressively promote products that align with the alliance's Healthy Schools Program nutrition standards and equip their sales force with the knowledge and resources to educate food service professionals about their collaboration with the alliance.
"Our children consume up to one third of their calories while at school," said former President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation. "I applaud Tyson Foods, as one of our country's largest suppliers of school food products, for seizing an opportunity to improve the nutrition and well-being of more than 30 million school children nationwide."
"We respect the work of the alliance and are proud to be a partner in the effort to reduce childhood obesity," said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. "As a supplier to the National School Lunch Program, we have extensive experience creating foods that not only contribute to a healthy lifestyle but also appeal to some of the most demanding consumers around -- kids."
The collaboration between Tyson and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation builds on the two-year-old ground-breaking school meals industry agreement the Alliance, founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation, has in place with 16 leading school meal manufacturers, group purchasing organizations, and technology companies. The new commitment from Tyson comes just in time as school food service professionals around the country will begin contracting processes for the coming year.