Lift Up America and the Kansas City Chiefs teamed up with Tyson Foods, Inc. to tackle one of Kansas City’s most pressing issues – hunger.

Kansas City Chiefs linebackers were on hand Tuesday to help unload and distribute the 30,000 pounds of protein donated by Tyson Foods. Harvesters–The Community Food Network distributed the food to more than 60 agencies throughout the Kansas City area. The distribution event, which kicked off on Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium, featured a news conference with speakers including Chiefs President Mark Donovan.

For the past 14 years, Lift Up America has partnered with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tyson Foods to distribute food to Kansas City area agencies.

“I’m so happy that the Lift Up America food distribution has become a Kansas City Chiefs tradition for the past decade. It’s something that I, as well as our players, have thoroughly enjoyed participating in each and every year. Knowing that this food will find its way into the hands of those in need makes the day a blessing to be a part of,” Donovan said.

Lift Up America partners with corporations, colleges, professional sports teams and nonprofit organizations to help communities in times of need. The Kansas City Chiefs were the first professional sports team to provide assistance.

“We have been so blessed to work with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tyson Foods year after year to support Harvesters—The Community Food Network. 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.

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The need for food assistance is greater today than ever before. Across Harvesters’ 26-county service area, nearly 375,000 people are food insecure. As the regional Feeding America food bank, Harvesters provides food and household products to more than 620 not-for-profit agencies, serving 141,500 people every month.

"This donation of protein is very important to Harvesters and to the clients we serve,” said Valerie Nicholson-Watson, Harvesters’ president and CEO. “Protein can be an expensive food item to purchase and is often difficult for families to access, but it is a key food group for a healthy diet. Harvesters is committed to providing the healthiest food possible, and this donation allows us to help meet the need of feeding one in seven people in our community.”

Last year, Harvesters distributed more than 46 million pounds of food and household products which provided more than 41 million meals. Due to the slow economic recovery and continued high unemployment, the number of people seeking help from Harvesters’ network remains great.

For the past 14 years, Tyson Foods has assisted Lift Up America in providing food in more than 20 cities to reduce domestic hunger in the United States. Since 2000, Tyson Foods has donated more than 100 million pounds of protein in the United States.

“We’re proud to do our part to help great partners like Harvesters—The Community Food Network and Lift Up America, which works on the front lines every day to end hunger,” said Matt Pakula, senior manager of corporate social responsibility at Tyson Foods. “Too many in Kansas City and America are food insecure, and although the problem is complex, the answer starts with getting involved and creating awareness.”