Tyson, local athletes give back

Forklift Operator begins to unload the donated product. / Mike Manzoni

Tyson Foods, Inc., and area high school football players gave back today.

The local athletes helped unload a semi-trailer truck filled with 31,000 pounds of chicken donated by Tyson. The chicken will be given to Second Harvest of South Georgia to be distributed to the county's neediest.

Spencer Tillman, the lead analyst for CBS Sports, was on hand for the event. He said he chose to get involved because he grew up poor. "Every face that I see in most of the communities that we go into I see myself looking back at me," he said, "a little snot-nosed kid from north Tulsa, OK, with not a lot to do, not a lot to eat."

Lift Up America and Phoebe Putney also sponsored the event.

Lucas Hill, the plant manager at the Dawson, GA Tyson branch, said his company is honored to help the hungry. "We're proud at Tyson Foods that we have the ability to help people," he said, "We give away six to ten million pounds of product every year."

"It's important to give back to the community, and take everything that we do on the field and put it back into the community," said Amaud Ross, a senior at Dougherty High School. "It feels good because you're not getting anything back, but you're also giving something. I'm giving something to help somebody else."

"We have an average of trying to distribute about 40,000 pounds a week just here in Dougherty County," said Tony Hall, the branch director at Second Harvest of South Georgia.

The donation was the first of 60 that Tyson plans to do this year.