TULSA, Oklahoma - For the sixth consecutive year, Lift Up America, The University of Tulsa and Tyson Foods, Inc., donated 30,000 pounds of protein to more than 50 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.

On Monday night, TU student-athletes and coaches assisted the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma with the food distribution, by loading vehicles of over 50 partner programs with the 3,000-plus boxes of protein.

"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 3,000 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 non-profit 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 339,000 meals each week to those struggling with hunger in eastern Oklahoma. The Food Bank distributed more than 21.1 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 11 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 want to make a difference in the lives of people struggling with food insecurity," said Matt Pakula, Tyson Foods' senior manager of corporate social responsibility. "To show our commitment to hunger relief, Tyson Foods has pledged $50 million in cash or in-kind donations over the next five years in the fight against hunger."

Photo Courtesy of the University of Tulsa Twitter page.