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The University of Tulsa Lift Up America and Tyson Foods Team Up To Fight Hunger in Eastern Oklahoma

Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma Receives 30,000 Pounds of Protein

TULSA, Okla. – Oct. 9, 2017 – For the seventh consecutive year, Lift Up America, The University of Tulsa and Tyson Foods will donate more than 30,000 pounds of protein to more than 40 partner programs serviced through the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma as part of an effort to feed people in need and promote public awareness of hunger in America.

The University of Tulsa will host a press conference beginning at 6:00 p.m. today. Volunteer student-athletes from The University of Tulsa will assist with the food distribution.

"Giving back to the community is one aspect of a student-athlete's life that we believe is important at The University of Tulsa. Our student-athletes volunteer over 5,000 community service hours annually. Supporting the Lift Up America program in helping the fight against hunger in northeastern Oklahoma is just a small part of what we can do for our community,” said Dr. Derrick Gragg, vice president and director of athletics at The University of Tulsa.

For over a decade, Lift Up America has partnered with corporations, colleges, pro sports teams and nonprofit organizations to help communities in times of need. "We feel fortunate to work with The University of Tulsa and Tyson Foods again this year to support the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Through these efforts in fighting hunger, we hope that we can serve as an example for our youth and encourage the next generation to be Ambassadors of Compassion,” said Eric Hannah, president of Lift Up America.

Through a network of partner programs, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma distributes more than 396,000 meals each week to those struggling with hunger in eastern Oklahoma. The Food Bank distributed more than 24.7 million pounds of food during the last fiscal year.

“This partnership with Lift Up America, Tyson and TU Athletics has put meat on the table for thousands of families when they needed help,” said Eileen Bradshaw, executive director of Community Food Bank. “We are so grateful for this effort and our Partner Programs eagerly anticipate this event every year.”

For the past 12 years, Tyson Foods has assisted Lift Up America in providing food in more than 20 cities to reduce domestic hunger in the United States. Since 2000, Tyson Foods has donated more than 100 million pounds of protein in the United States.

“We’re proud to do our part to help great partners like the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Lift Up America, which works on the front lines every day to end hunger,” said Matt Pakula, senior manager of corporate social responsibility at Tyson Foods. “Too many Oklahomans and Americans are food insecure, and although the problem is complex, the answer starts with getting involved and creating awareness.”

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About Lift Up America

Lift Up America, founded in 2004, is a 501c3 non-profit organization that collaborates with corporations, professional and college sports teams and local nonprofit agencies to help our nation’s less fortunate. For more information about Lift Up America, please visit In 2014, Lift Up America is focused on expanding its Ambassador of Compassion program across the U.S., including an active chapter in Cleveland. An interactive leadership program for youth, Ambassadors of Compassion helps transform junior high and high-school aged youth into resilient, confident individuals motivated to embrace a strong work ethic and continue giving service in their communities. For more information and how to donate, please visit

About Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under three generations of family leadership, the company has a broad portfolio of products and brands like Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells®, ibp® and State Fair®. Tyson Foods innovates continually to make protein more sustainable, tailor food for everywhere it’s available and raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, the company has 114,000 team members. Through its Core Values, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity, create value for its shareholders, customers, communities and team members and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it. Visit

About The University of Tulsa Athletics

The University of Tulsa's 17 intercollegiate sports participate in NCAA Division I athletics and is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Tulsa's sports include for women: basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field and volleyball; for men: basketball, cross country, football, soccer, tennis, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field. Tulsa began its membership in the American Athletic Conference on July 1, 2014 after totaling a league-high 56 championships in nine years as a member of Conference USA. Tulsa was the top American Athletic Conference school in the 2016-17 NACDA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings, a program that honors institutions maintaining a broad based program, achieving success in many sports, both men's and women's.

About the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma

Founded in 1981, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is one of the largest, private hungerrelief organizations in Oklahoma. With branches in Tulsa and McAlester, it distributes donated items to 450 Partner Programs in 24 counties of eastern Oklahoma. These programs include emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs, senior centers, and veterans initiatives. In addition, the Food Bank helps raise public awareness about hunger and the role of food banking in alleviating hunger. For more information, visit; find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at


Media Contacts:

Donald Tomkalski, University of Tulsa Athletic Dept.,

Derek Burleson, Tyson Foods,

Greg Raskin, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma,

Cindy Hestand, Lift Up America,