Lifting Spirits

Posted Dec 6, 2012

As life moves forward in Kansas City, the Chiefs Community Caring Team and the Hunt family displayed strength, leadership and poise as they took time this past Monday to help distribute food to local agencies within the Kansas City community. (Photo Gallery)

The Chiefs Community Caring Team, Lift Up America and Harvesters Community Food Network joined forces to provide local families with much needed meals donated by Tyson Food, Inc. Lift Up America is a non-profit humanitarian aid movement that provides hope and opportunities to the less fortunate. They have paired up with Harvesters which is a non-profit food collection and distribution company in the Kansas City area.

“Our partnership (with Tyson, Lift Up America and the Chiefs) has resulted in providing 220,000 pounds of protein to individuals within our community that are in need,” Wesley Fields, Harvesters Board of Directors, said. “That results in about 170,000 meals that have been provided for folks in the community. It’s a great event and it’s good to have so many volunteers, the Hunt family, representatives of the Kansas City Chiefs, Tyson and Harvesters all coming together for this great effort.”

This year, Tyson donated 30,000 pounds of product to approximately 60 Kansas City relief organizations, including Operation Breakthrough, along with local food pantries and church ministries.

“Cars were lined up around Truman Sports Complex,” Chuck Castellano, Chiefs Community Relations Manager, explained. “The Chiefs Community Caring Team, highlighted by Clark Hunt and his siblings, Lamar Jr., Dan and Sharon were all helping, along with the volunteers, to load up the agencies’ cars with Tyson products.”

For nearly a decade the Chiefs have been involved with the Lift Up America movement which started in Kansas City in 2004.

“The Chiefs feel very honored that we were selected as one of the first pro teams to get involved in the initiative nine years ago, it was ourselves and the Miami Dolphins,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt commented. “It’s really just grown from there, annually there are 25-30 pro and college teams to participate in Lift Up America food drive nationwide… It’s been a great honor for us to be involved from the inception and I’m so glad that we’re still able to do it today.”

The local agencies received much-needed food, just in time for the holidays.

“The most important thing for the Chiefs Community Caring Team partnering up with Lift Up America on this initiative is that we’re getting close to the holidays and this is one more way we can help feed our neighbors and say thanks for all they do for our Chiefs family,” Castellano said.

Fields noted that, “There are 375,000 people within our region that are designated as food insecure, which means that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from and of those individuals one in five are children.”

The Chiefs are striving to alleviate food insecurity in our region. Through the Lift Up America initiative, along with other volunteer opportunities, the Chiefs have recorded more than 550 hours and donated nearly $100,000 to various hunger relief efforts throughout the course of this year.

By the end of the event on Monday, the 60 vehicles that had lined the street surrounding the Truman Sports Complex had left, along with the 30,000 pounds of Tyson products, on their way to those in need.

“1.3 pounds is considered a meal and there was 30,000 pounds here today for 60 agencies from around the Kansas and Missouri area,” Paula Pratt, Director of Community Outreach at Harvesters, noted.

As a direct result of Monday’s efforts, over 23,000 meals will now be served during the holidays in our community which will certainly lift spirits across the Kingdom.

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