Lift Up America, The University of Tulsa and Tyson Foods on September 29 donated 30,000 pounds of protein to more than 65 partner programs through the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma for the fourth consecutive year as part of an effort to feed people in need and promote public awareness of hunger in America.

More than 100 volunteers, including those from The University of Tulsa student-athletes, Tyson Foods, Lift Up America, Tulsa Sports Charities and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma have agreed to assist with the food distribution.

"Giving back to the community is one aspect of a student-athlete's life that we believe is important at The University of Tulsa. Our student-athletes volunteer over 3,000 community service hours annually. Supporting the Lift Up America program in helping the fight against hunger in northeastern Oklahoma is just a small part of what we can do for our community,” said Dr. Derrick Gragg, vice president and director of athletics at The University of Tulsa.

For over a decade, Lift Up America has partnered with corporations, colleges, pro sports teams and non-profit organizations to help communities in times of need.  "We feel fortunate to work with the University of Tulsa, Tyson Foods and Tulsa Sports Charities again this year to support the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.  Through these efforts in fighting hunger, we hope that we can serve as an example for our youth and encourage the next generation to be ambassadors of compassion,” said Eric Hannah, president of Lift Up America.

 Through a network of partner programs, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma distributes more than 335,000 meals each week to those struggling with hunger in eastern Oklahoma. The Food Bank distributed more than 20.8 million pounds of food during the last fiscal year.

“This partnership with Lift Up America, Tyson Foods and TU Athletics has put meat on the table for thousands of families when they needed help,” said Eileen Bradshaw, executive director of the Food Bank. “We are so grateful for this effort and our Partner Programs eagerly anticipate this event every year.”

For the past ten years, Tyson Foods has assisted Lift Up America in providing food in more than 20 cities to reduce hunger in the United States. 

“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 Annetta Young, Tyson Foods’ director of corporate social responsibility.  “We want to make a difference in these people’s lives by helping them provide nutritious food for themselves and their families.”