Tyson Cafeteria Brings “Hope” to the Hungry

Tyson Cafeteria Brings “Hope” to the Hungry

The cafeteria at Tyson Food’s Springdale headquarters feeds more than Tyson Team Members. As part of their food recovery program, they donate surplus food to charity.

Four days a week on alternating days, volunteers from Samaritan Community Center and House of Hope Rescue Mission arrive when the kitchen closes to collect any unused food. They take it back to their respective facilities to feed people in need.

Since the program started in 2017, more than 10,000 pounds of food have been recovered, said Jeff Callahan, Head Chef and Cafeteria Manager.

House of Hope has collected more than two-and-a-half tons of food since they joined, according to Erin West, Director of Development for House of Hope. This year alone, they’ve recovered nearly 2,400 pounds, averaging around 50 pounds of food per pick-up. The donations enable them to serve an average of 120 clients a full meal on the days their kitchen is open.

Prior to the food recovery program, said Erin, House of Hope depended on volunteers to do the cooking. Now the volunteers can warm up and serve the donated food, which saves them both time and money. The recovery program has helped them to lower expenses and put the savings back into their mission.

Erin said they are grateful for the wide variety of good, restaurant-quality food.

“There’s a mix of things our clients might not have access to otherwise. We’re able to give them nutritional balance when they might not know where their next meal may be coming from,” she said.

Erin also wanted to make sure the cafeteria staff knows how much House of Hope appreciates them.

“The chefs are amazing. The staff upstairs is so gracious and courteous, and they’re happy to help out in whatever way possible,” she said.

The appreciation is mutual, according to Jeff Callahan. “It is a fantastic feeling to know that through this partnership and our collaborative efforts, we can positively affect so many within our community. The folks at both organizations are amazing people, and they have been such a pleasure to work with.”

-Written by Jenny Wallace, Tyson Foods