Tyson Foods’ Joslin beef plant is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a 40,000-pound protein donation to the Davenport-based River Bend Food Bank, a member of the Feeding America network.

This donation equates to more than 160,000 meals to help address hunger relief for local individuals and families, a giving back priority for Tyson Foods, according to a Thursday release. The food is a variety of ground beef and Italian sausage, chicken drumsticks, bacon, and some other chicken products.

“We strive to improve the quality of life for our team members, their families, and the communities where we operate and hunger relief is an important way in which we give back,” said Jorge Guzman, Tyson Foods’ Joslin beef plant complex manager. “We’re grateful to have been a part of the Joslin community for 40 years and are extremely proud of current and former team members who have been an integral part of our Joslin operations and our commitment as a company to help feed the world.”

A sign marks the entrance to Tyson Foods headquarters in Springdale, Ark. (AP Photo/April L. Brown, File)

River Bend Food Bank will receive and unload the truckload donation on Friday, Feb. 17. Tyson and the food bank have partnered many times throughout the years to address hunger relief in the Joslin and Quad Cities area, according to the Thursday release. The protein donation will be available to all of the Food Bank’s pantry partners to distribute to the children and adults they serve.

 “The high cost of food continues to force struggling families to make impossible choices between buying nutritious groceries and paying for other necessities,” said Nancy Renkes, president and CEO of River Bend Food Bank. “We are so grateful for this generous donation from Tyson that will help more people facing hunger access healthy protein options during a time of great need.”

Nancy Renkes is CEO of River Bend Food Bank.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, the food bank gave out an equivalent of 17.2 million meals through its 400-plus hunger relief partners — including food pantries, meal sites, schools, churches and community organizations — in 23 counties in eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

That includes 85 schools in the QC that participate in the River Bend Backpack Program, where every week during the school year, 1,000 students get six nutritious meals in a backpack to take home for the weekend.

In 2022, increased gas prices, reductions in SNAP benefits, and an inflation rate not seen since 1981 means more of our neighbors are finding themselves faced with impossible choices of buying food or paying for other necessities like electricity and medicines, according to the Food Bank.

In 2022, the Food Bank saw a 40% drop in donated food, while need in the months of June, July, and August has consistently risen – approximately a 60% increase over the same period in 2021.

A Tyson truck shows the company’s commitment to hunger relief.

Tyson’s Joslin beef plant began operations on Jan. 24, 1983, at the time as a plant of the company IBP. IBP was acquired by Tyson Foods in 2001 and today the Joslin plant employs 2,700 team members.

Tyson strives to ensure team members have the tools and resources they need to be successful, such as job training, a safe workplace, competitive compensation, benefits, and life skills training, the food bank release said

To learn more about River Bend, visit its website HERE.