By Barbara Olejnik
Poultry Times Staff
GAINESVILLE, Ga. — The Southern United States has suffered a one-two punch of devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma resulting in widespread flooding and lost homes and businesses.
Harvey struck first and poultry, egg and meat companies have responded to the disaster by providing food to help feed people displaced by the storm.
Tyson Foods sent teams to Texas to prepare meals for those affected by and responding to the disaster. A cooksite was set up at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Conroe, Texas, and free meals provided to anyone in need.
In addition, a distribution network was to be established with local authorities and disaster relief organizations to deliver meal to flood victims in the Houston metro area.
The company also announced a $50,000 donation to the American Red Cross and $50,000 to the Salvation Army to assist in disaster relief efforts in Texas.
The American Egg Board also partnered with Tyson Foods to provide eggs and egg products for distribution to those affected by Harvey.
The AEB coordinated donations of egg patties, hard-boiled eggs and other pre-cooked refrigerated products from America’s egg farmers as part of Tyson’s Meals that Matter disaster relief program.
The egg donations will be used in providing hot and cold meals to churches, local shelters, other locations and volunteers. Hard-boiled eggs and protein kits will be delivered to a Salvation Army location to serve National Guard Troops.
Perdue has committed 1 million pounds of protein to support relief efforts in Houston and surrounding communities in southeastern Texas, and is sending more than 20 truckloads of protein to help serve victims and volunteers.
Donated protein will be directed to local Feeding American affiliated food banks and the Houston Independent School District. The school district will receive 500,000 pounds of protein to assist in feeding victims and first responders through a network of nine feeding centers in surrounding communities.
Rescue efforts are also underway for pets and animals, and Perdue has donated nearly 68,000 pounds of Spot Farms brand dehydrated dog food to Feeding America.
Numerous other companies and organizations have offered support for victims and for first responders working to restore areas affected by Harvey. These include:
Cargill has provided 3 million servings of ground beef, hot dogs and deli meats, as well as 300,000 pounds of animal feed. The meat has gone to relief agencies, such as the Red Cross and Feeding America. Cargill has also donated close to $150,000 to two charities helping people affected by Harvey.
US Foods, one of the largest foodservice distributors, has provided a donation of $100,000 to the Red Cross.
Pork producer Seaboard Foods planned to deliver about 15,000 pounds of PrairieFresh Premium Pork to Operation BBQ Relief’s deployment site in Houston near the convention center.
Operation BBQ Relief is an all-volunteer organization that leverages their expertise in cooking and catering barbecue meals to quickly mobilize teams into areas where disasters disrupt lives of Americans.
Allen Harim took a truck loaded with 40,000 pounds of chicken from its Harbeson, Del., plant to Houston to donate to Operation BBQ Relief.
Hormel Foods helped those impacted by Harvey through its partnership with Convoy of Hope. In anticipation of hurricane season this year, Hormel Foods helped stock Convoy of Hope’s warehouse with products such as Skippy peanut butter, Stag chili, Hormel chicken breast and SPAM products.
To deliver relief specifically to Texas’ farm and ranch community, Alltech has launched Hope After Harvey and has donated $20,000 to kick off the relief fund and will then match all donations made to the non-profit Alltech AEC Foundation. Alltech has also committed to donating $100,000 in value of animal feed and crop products.
Alltech employee teams are being organized for trips in the months ahead to support farmers and ranchers wherever they need extra hands, whether in installing new fencing, rebuilding bards, restoring fields or herding animals.
The Texas Farm Bureau has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to address agricultural losses inflicted by Harvey. Tax-deductible donations made to the Texas Farm Bureau Agriculture Research and Education Foundation will be dispersed via an application process directly to the farmers and ranchers affected by the hurricane.
PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, has announced that it will match all funds donated to the American Red Cross in support of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund up to $100,000.
While relief efforts centered around those affected by Hurricane Harvey, poultry and meat groups were also keeping an eye on Hurricane Irma, which had not yet impacted the U.S. mainland.
Ahead of Irma, the United States Cold Storage activated its hurricane preparedness plans in its Florida and North Carolina facilities.
USCS took the following operational precautions to protect customer product:
- Obtaining generators
- Securing fuel service including ongoing stocking as needed.
- Lowering warehouse temperatures.
- Safeguarding the warehouse access
- Preparing the refrigeration system to reduce potential storm impact.