FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - Athletes from the University of Arkansas teamed up with Tyson Saturday morning (April 18) to collect thousands of pounds of food that will go to local food banks.
More than two dozen students helped move 30,000 pounds of donated protein from Tyson trucks to vehicles that were headed to the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank. Senior volleyball player Meredith Hays volunteered her time.
"I was blessed enough to be raised in family that I didn't have to worry about where my next meal was coming from, you always see the commercials and different things you know it's out there, but to know this is happening within our own community you never think that it is, and you don't think that it's this close, but I mean it's within the city limits," Hays said.
Coordinators with the food bank said 1 in 4 people in Northwest Arkansas are food insecure. They said Saturday's Tyson chicken donation will go to over 100 local agencies who will distribute the food to people in need. Junior guard Anthlon Bell said it's important for the community to see athletes off the court.
"They see that we are more than athletes, that we are helping in the community and I know they highly appreciate it," Bell said.
Hays said it is even more special to the athletes who volunteered.
"We need to get out of our box and realize what we're doing day in and day out is very small whenever you think about the big picture, and the people that we're connecting with, it's good to be able to connect with the community that supports us," Hays said.
Organizers said every year the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank gives 7.2 million pounds to those in need. They said the event was put on in partnership with Lift Up America, an organization who helps student athletes give back to their community.