Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) has donated enough food over the past week to provide approximately one million meals to feed evacuees and relief workers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, company officials reported today.
Tyson has supplied pre-cooked and shelf-stable chicken to relief efforts in Carthage, Forest, Magee, Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi. The company has sent shipments of food to help feed evacuees near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as Fort Chaffee and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Tyson has also provided truckloads of water and ice to communities in central Mississippi and sent teams of people to help cook food.
Tyson will also be offering employment opportunities to evacuees who are now actively looking for jobs. The company will participate in job fairs and will establish recruitment sites near some of the shelters where they are staying.
In addition, Tyson Foods is matching financial donations made by its 114,000 Team Members on a dollar for dollar basis, with the money going to assist the relief efforts of the Salvation Army and American Red Cross. Including the food already donated, the company and its Team Members expect to donate up to $1 million in food and financial aid.
While the storm that hit this region was overwhelming, so has been the outpouring prayer and support from people around the country for those in need, said John Tyson, chairman and chief executive officer of Tyson Foods. Were pleased to be part of this effort, especially in the state of Mississippi where we employ more than 5,000 Tyson Team Members.
Tysons four Mississippi poultry processing plants were idled early last week by the hurricane, primarily because of the loss of power. All four are now back in operation and are currently running near pre-hurricane production levels. Carthage resumed production last Wednesday, the two Forest plants on Friday and Vicksburg on Saturday.
While it remains difficult to precisely calculate the financial impact of Hurricane Katrina on the company, Tyson today provided a cost estimate in the $10 - $20 million range. This reflects the loss of some live bird inventory, the temporary closure of processing plants and the loss of frozen product that was in storage at ports in Mississippi and Louisiana. It also includes insurance deductibles and other costs, such as efforts to support the companys Mississippi Team Members and plant communities. Because of these projected fourth quarter expenses, the company has lowered its 2005 GAAP earnings guidance by $.03 per share to $.92 to $1.02 per share.
In addition to Mississippi, Tyson has poultry plants in twelve other states, which were not directly affected by the hurricane. These plants are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.