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For the 2013 holiday season, Wichita-based Cargill Value Added Meats/Retail, which operates Cargill’s U.S. turkey business, has made a commitment to donate more than 11,000 turkeys to food banks, the Salvation Army and other charitable organizations.
The donated turkeys, which will feed tens of thousands of deserving people, are worth more than $200,000.
“Each holiday season we provide thousands of turkeys to charities located near our major turkey processing facilities, as well as in the Wichita and Minneapolis areas, where our protein business and corporate headquarters are located, respectively,” said Ruth Kimmelshue, president of Cargill Value Added Meats/Retail. “This year, we are able to provide additional turkeys in areas where people need them. While there are always more deserving people in America than we could ever accommodate,” Kimmelshue continued, “we are delighted to provide more than 11,000 additional families with a nutritious, flavorful, wholesome turkey for meals during this year’s holiday season. It’s the time of the year when we should all be doing as much as possible to help others less fortunate.”
Cargill determined which organizations would receive turkeys based on need and proximity to its turkey processing facilities. As examples: the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma will be receiving turkeys for victims of the spring 2013 tornados that devastated much of Moore, Okla.; the Salvation Army will be distributing turkeys to families in West, Texas, where an April explosion at a fertilizer plant shook the town; food banks in Little Rock and Bethel Heights, Ark., will receive turkeys for distribution in one of the most food insecure states in the nation (USDA report, Sept. 2013); and U.S. military families throughout the nation will receive donated turkeys through Operation Homefront and the Thanksgiving Turkey Basket program at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita. Other turkey donations will include locations in Kansas, Minnesota, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
“When people have enough good food to eat, both they and their communities are better able to thrive,” noted Kimmelshue. “That’s a point of view that we’ve maintained as part of Cargill’s values and guiding principles since the company’s founding 148 years ago, and it’s as relevant today as it was in 1865.”
Cargill Value Added Meats/Retail operates turkey processing plants in Virginia, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas.