Tyson Foods gives 37,000 pounds of chicken to Uniontown residents

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Christmas came again to some residents of Uniontown after Tyson foods donated 37,000 pounds of food to the Ivan-stricken areas of the Blackbelt.

“During Hurrican Ivan a lot of people lost a lot of food when the power went out and some of those people were not able to replace that food,” Uniontown Mayor Phillip White said. “We tried to find ways to help them get the food they needed.”

White said National Public Radio produced a story about the Blackbelt areas, including Uniontown, that were hit hard by the hurricane. That story was picked up by Tyson foods, which decided to do something about it.

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“Tyson has a division called disaster services. They had heard about the problem from NPR and wanted to do something about it. Their division got in touch with Uniontown officials, who asked that (Congressman Artur Davis’) office help,” Davis’ constituent services representative Carolyn S. Powell, said. “The congressman was glad to partner with Tyson to bring this food to the people of Uniontown.”

Nearly 1,300 Uniontown families received food, with still more food going to outlying areas of Uniontown.

“We’re sending about 100 to 150 cases to Marion, which will serve approximately 300 families,” White said. “If there is any left after that, we will start spreading out to other nearby areas that were affected by the hurricane.”

Not only was White on hand to help hand out food, but so were council members Eugene Booker and Toulis Jones.

“This is a real grassroots effort,” Powell said of the councilmen passing boxes and bags of chicken products to residents. “That’s what its all about, helping each other out.”

Powell said the city was not the only one whose employees volunteered, but Tyson as well.

“Not only do they give the food, but they’re employees volunteer to come down and help pass it out,” she said. She said this was the first time Davis’ office had worked with Tyson, but said it hopefully will not be the last.

“We’re excited to have them as a new resource,” she said. “They’re located in northeast Alabama, up near Gadsden, but they service the whole state. That says a lot about their company.”

White said those relationships forged were what makes cities and towns flourish.

“You’ve got to have relationships with people,” he said. “If you can’t build relationships with people, then you can’t get anything done.”

Those relationships are not just ones between cities and businesses or representatives, but within the city government as well.

“I’m real proud of the folks I have to work with,” White said.