With demand down for chicken, processors give big to food banks

US - Fears about avian flu have dramatically cut chicken exports, creating bonanza for the food depositories that serve the nation’s poor and hungry.

Tyson Foods, the country’s largest processor of chicken and beef, this week announced it is donating 6 million pounds of chicken to America’s Second Harvest, the agency that coordinates food donations nationally for the food pantries and depositories. Earlier this year, Purdue Chicken Co. donated more than 1 million pounds to the food agencies.

In February, Tyson’s Sedalia plant donated 70,000 pounds of chicken to the Central Missouri Food Bank Pantry.

Such donations are rare, and certainly generous, but not entirely altruistic.

The nation’s chicken and meat processors are dealing with a glut caused by the fears about avian flu and, to a lesser extent, mad cow disease. Rather than dumping the chicken and meat onto the market and further sinking retail prices, the food companies are donating the products to the food depositories and taking a tax write-off on the charitable contribution.

Source: Columbia Daily Tribune
calendar icon 16 May 2006
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