One of Northwest Arkansas’ leading companies kicked off a program intended to promote health and wellness among its employees while providing benefit to the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.
The Miles that Matter Initiative launched by Tyson Foods was celebrated at an event on Tuesday along the Razorback Regional Greenway in downtown Springdale.
The company will donate a pound of protein to the food bank for every mile that a Tyson Foods employee walks, runs or cycles during sponsored events throughout the summer. The maximum donation is 50,000 pounds.
The estimated 150 Tyson Foods employees and family members who showed up for Tuesday evening's kickoff in red and white cycling jerseys and running shirts started piling up the miles right away. The cyclists took off on a 3-mile ride to Lake Springdale and back, and the runners and walkers each put in about two miles.
Company employees are being encouraged to participate in dozens of scheduled walks, runs and rides that start in Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale. Those events continue through mid-September.
Tyson Foods is rolling out the program in Northwest Arkansas, but it could be expanded in the future to other regions across the U.S. where the company has operations.
Tyson Foods has a strong history of support for food banks and hunger relief efforts. Over the past 15 years, the company has donated 100 million pounds of food. The company continues to be a strong supporter of Share Our Strength, Feeding America and the Food Research and Action Center.
The company in 2015 pledged to provide $50 million in money and in-kind contributions over a five-year period to the fight against hunger.