Accessing the most basic necessity to sustain life is a challenge for many people in the island nation of Haiti. Hunger is chronic as 100,000 children under five years of age suffer from malnutrition, in part due to the lack of access to animal protein. In an effort to help combat hunger in Haiti, Tyson Foods Inc. recently announced a $341,490 grant to OneEgg, a nonprofit organization that delivers eggs to children in developing countries. The money will be used for construction of an egg-producing farm in Haiti that will provide animal protein to undernourished children while also establishing an economically sustainable business model from the sale of eggs produced at the farm.
As part of its corporate social responsibility efforts, employees of Tyson Foods and Cobb-Vantress, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyson Foods, have provided technical assistance and training to previous OneEgg projects in Rwanda and Uganda, but Haiti marks the first financial commitment from the company. The farm will produce a continuous supply of eggs for sale in local markets while providing new jobs for local residents. As a not-for-profit project sponsored by Tyson Foods and Cobb-Vantress, the proceeds from this enterprise will remain in Haiti and keep the farm operational.
“We’re extremely grateful to Tyson Foods and Cobb-Vantress for this generous gift to OneEgg Haiti,” said Chris Ordway, executive director of OneEgg. “The opportunity to create a sustainable, egg-producing farm will have a lasting and life-changing impact on the people of Haiti.”
The project will also include research, education and outreach efforts to continue to investigate the value of eggs on children’s physical development and to share the farm business model with others in developing countries that could implement it.
Faculty and students from the University of Arkansas Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will document the farm’s construction and economic model while conducting nutrition research on children receiving eggs as a means of project evaluation. The results will ultimately be published and presented throughout the agricultural academic community.
“While the primary goal is to get protein-packed eggs into the diets of Haitian children, another important aim of this grant is to get college students involved in international research and outreach in developing countries like Haiti,” said Jefferson Miller, professor of agricultural communications with joint appointments within Bumpers and the Division of Agriculture. “We’ll have graduate and undergraduate students involved in the project. It’s a great opportunity for these young people to get some practical experience with an international focus.”
Once the farm is producing at full capacity, it will feature three laying houses and a brooding house capable of holding 10,500 birds that will lay 6,000-7,000 eggs a day.
“Tyson Foods and Cobb-Vantress firmly believe in offering assistance to those in need by sharing our knowledge and experience,” said Dave Juenger, senior advisor of CVI support services for Cobb-Vantress. “As a result, the children of Haiti have a greater chance at a healthy life, and the people of Haiti have a greater opportunity to be self-sufficient.”
Debra Vernon, senior director of corporate social responsibility for Tyson Foods added, “We’re raising the world’s expectations for the good food can do. The OneEgg Haiti project is a perfect example of our purpose coming to life and the integration of sustainable thinking throughout our work.”