Wichita, Kan.-based Cargill Protein announced Monday (Oct. 13) the donation of 120,000 pounds of turkeys to the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank, Arkansas Food Bank and River Valley Regional Food Bank.
Cargill’s Springdale facility was established in 1965, and in the past five years has donated more than one million pounds of turkey products during the holiday season to needy families.
“This community is home for 1,200 Cargill employees and we are proud to help ensure our neighbors have access to safe, nutritious and quality turkey this holiday season,” said Shane Acosta, general manager of Cargill’s Springdale turkey complex.
Each food bank will receive approximately 40,000 pounds of Honeysuckle White turkey, according to a news release. Combined, the three food banks provide nutritional support, including distribution of food products through agency partners, to residents across Arkansas.
“With the holidays fast approaching, our food bank’s agencies – our Hunger Heroes, as we call them – will be able to provide these turkeys for families in need to enjoy a great Thanksgiving meal and support our mission to leave no person hungry,” said Mike Ichniowski, director, River Valley Regional Food Bank. “Cargill is always there for us and for those we serve.”
According to Feeding America, Arkansas ranks second to last in the nation for overall access to healthy food. One in six Arkansans struggles with hunger, compared to the national average of one in eight people. For children, it is one in four facing hunger issues in Arkansas.
“At this time of year, the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank is especially thankful for partners like Cargill. Cargill supports our efforts with product donations throughout the year and this donation of turkeys will continue to make a meaningful impact in our community,” said Kent Eikenberry, president and CEO of Northwest Arkansas Food Bank. “There are more than 71,000 people in Northwest Arkansas that lack access to enough food. With Cargill’s support, they will be able to enjoy a meal this holiday season.”
Food banks receiving turkeys are members of the Feeding America network. As a global company, Cargill works with partners in 18 countries to address hunger, food waste, food safety and other issues around the world. This helps achieve the company’s purpose to nourish the world in safe, responsible and sustainable way.
“For so many Arkansans, putting a holiday meal on the table is an important part of their family tradition,” said Rhonda Sanders, CEO of Arkansas Food Bank. “With one in four in our service area struggling with hunger, Cargill’s generous gift of turkeys this holiday season will ensure that our neighbors in need can enjoy a holiday meal with their families.”