updated 4/29/2011 5:16:47 PM ET 2011-04-29T21:16:47

SPRINGDALE, Ark., April 29, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) has donated more than 270,000 pounds of food this week as part of disaster relief efforts in several states affected by devastating storms, company officials reported today.

"We're shocked and saddened by the impact of these powerful spring storms and are pitching in to help those whose lives have been turned upside down by the devastation," said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods.

Tyson currently has six cooking teams stationed in northern Alabama to help feed disaster relief workers, as well as employees, contract poultry growers and local residents who have been affected by the storms. In addition to delivering four truckloads of meat, poultry and tortillas, the company has also brought in ice and 27,000 bottles of water.

Tyson Foods employs approximately 2,000 people in Alabama and depends on more than 340 contract poultry growers in the state. The company's Blountsville and Albertville chicken processing plants were not damaged by the recent storm but were idled when they lost power. The Albertville facility remains without electricity.

Some northern Alabama chicken farms that raise birds for Tyson had chicken houses that were destroyed or damaged.  The company is helping the affected contract chicken growers with clean up efforts.

In central North Carolina, Tyson donated a truckload of chicken and a truckload of tortillas this week to the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and the Christian United Outreach Center to help with relief efforts.  Thousands of North Carolina residents were recently affected by tornados, including people in Sanford, where Tyson operates a tortilla plant.  Tyson's Sanford facility was not damaged; however, a tornado touched down nearby.  Plant employees raised $1,750 and donated clothing and household items to help a co-worker whose home was destroyed in the storm.

In Arkansas, Tyson shipped a truckload of food this week to the Arkansas Food Bank Network of Little Rock to help in the aftermath of tornadoes that hit the central region of the state.

The state of Iowa also recently experienced tornado damage.  Employees of Tyson Fresh Meats in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, and in Storm Lake, Iowa, collected and donated more than $2,000 to help with disaster relief.  A majority of the money was donated to the Siouxland Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, some was used to support employees who experienced storm damage and other funds went to help feed relief workers who were removing debris from farm fields.  In addition, ground beef donations were made to two local food pantries.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world's largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500.  The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. Tyson provides products and services to customers throughout the United States and more than 90 countries. The company has approximately 115,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.

CONTACT:  Gary Mickelson 
          479-290-6111 
          gary.mickelson@tyson.com

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