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Sharks and Lift Up America Help Community

by Cecile Nguyen / San Jose Sharks

Click here to view photos from the event.
Click here to watch a video of the event.

The San Jose Sharks and Lift Up America teamed up with Tyson Foods, Inc. to help bring the gift of food to the Bay Area’s less fortunate on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at Second Harvest Food Bank’s San Jose warehouse.

Over 15 tons of Tyson protein was donated to restock Feeding America soup kitchens and pantries in San Jose.

“That’s a lot of meat,” Sharks’ Mike Ricci said. “You hear the numbers of 200,000 people in San Jose are helped by Second Harvest. It’s unfortunate, times are tough now, it’s tough for everybody but there are people who don’t have food and for these organizations here today to step up is great.”

Along with Ricci, current San Jose Sharks Devin Setoguchi, Jeremy Roenick, Brad Lukowich,
Claude Lemieux and Jamie McGinn were on hand to help load the food onto trucks which Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties will then distribute to more than 30 soup kitchens and pantries throughout the San Jose area.

“I don’t think we realize how many people really need help,” said Dave Hannah, Chairman and Founder of Lift Up America. “The figures read that 34-40 million Americans go to bed hungry every night; that’s about 13-15 million kids go to bed hungry every night. This truck right here is going to provide about 120,000 servings of protein to 30-40 agencies. Probably about 10,000 families are going to get help in something that’s really critical.”

According to Hannah, this annual event, not including today, has provide for over 320,000 families with over 14 million servings of meat.

“Our organization does a lot of work like this,” said Ricci. “We like to get involved in the community and do a lot of different things to help out. It’s a big part of our team to reach out to the community that has supported us. With Tyson donating food and Second Harvest Food Bank out here today, we’re just playing a little part in helping out. The Sharks just bringing awareness out here and we’re really happy to do it.”

Lift Up America’s vision is to provide important necessities to families and instill hope in the hearts of America’s less-fortunate. Each year Lift Up America partners with corporate supporters and professional and collegiate sports organizations to deliver donations to local communities.

This year is the fifth in which Tyson has partnered with Lift Up America and its network of professional and college sports teams to distribute food and create awareness of the issue of hunger.

“We’ve continued in the fight against hunger in this country for nearly a decade now and we’re hearing the call from across the nation,” says Leland Tollett, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “At Tyson our goal is to support families through food donations and to encourage other companies and individuals to identify ways they can share resources and make an impact in the fight against hunger. We are honored to join forces with Lift Up America to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in America.”

More than 36.2 million Americans, including 12.4 million children, are food insecure. Food insecurity in the United States is rising rapidly with the downturn in the economy and employment.

“I think it's huge for the Sharks to be involved in the community like this,” Sharks forward Jamie McGinn said. “It's amazing that people are coming together for something like this. It’s really unselfish of everyone. With the economy the way it is, it’s amazing to see people still willing to help others in need.”

Added Hannah: “It's incredibly gratifying what we’re doing here today.You know you’re making a difference. At this time in America, we need people to step up and make a difference. The good news is there are a lot of Americans who are doing that.”

Tyson Foods is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork. As part of their ongoing commitment to hunger relief, Tyson Foods has donated more than 54 million pounds of protein to local food banks since 2000. Click here for more information on Tyson Hunger Relief.

Feeding America food banks across the country are experiencing significant increases in requests for food assistance, especially during the holiday season. Click here for more information on rising food insecurity.
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