Tyson to Close Ponca City Plant

Tyson Foods Inc. closed its Ponca City processed meats plant. The facility closing should result in a non-cash charge to Tyson’s fiscal second quarter earnings of about $0.02 per share.
The closing will affect nearly 600 workers, who on March 27 were given a 60-day notice of termination. Representatives of the human resources staff at Tyson will meet with affected Ponca City workers to discuss other opportunities within the company. They will also work with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, which will help with unemployment benefits and job leads.
The actual termination of operations and displacement of workers will take place gradually. Closing will begin in late May and should be completed in late summer.
“This is a very difficult decision because it affects the lives of our people, their families and the community,” said Dick Belsito, senior vice president of processed meats for Tyson Foods. “However, it is critically important to our business.”
Tyson is shifting production from the facility to three other company plants – in Buffalo, N.Y., Cherokee, Iowa and Houston, Texas.
Tyson officials look to find a buyer for the plant, open since 1995.
Tyson Foods Inc., founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Ark., is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. Tyson provides products and service to customers throughout the U.S. and more than 90 countries. The company employs about 107,000 at more than 300 facilities and offices around the world.
Kendall Whittier Gets Kids Cafe
Green Country gained its third Kids Cafe location late last month.
The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Kendall Whittier Inc. celebrated the grand opening of the cafe, at College Hill Presbyterian Church at 712 S. Columbia Ave., on March 26.
Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Feeding America, formerly known as America’s Second Harvest, partnered to bring the Kids Cafe program. It provides free meals and snacks to low-income children through a variety of community locations where children congregate.
The Kids Cafe program also offers a safe place where children can get involved in educational, recreational and social activities.
“This collaborative effort gives parents and caregivers and additional way to ensure that their children receive hot and nutritious meals,” said Sara Waggoner, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
Thanks to a $25,000 Food Startup Kids Cafe Grant from Mars Food, eastern Oklahoma gained the three Kids Cafe locations, opened since the original came online in two years ago at the Boys and Girls Club of Green Country in Pryor.
In August, the Kids Cafe at the Springdale Recreation Center in Tulsa opened in partnership with the non-profit, Families of Murdered Children. A third Kids Cafe is set to open at the Boys and Girls Club of Bartlesville.
“We had not been happy with the food choices we had been providing the 55 kindergarten through fifth graders in our free, year-round program,” said Trinna Burrows, executive director of Kendall-Whittier Inc. “What we’d been able to secure was pre-packaged, not fresh, and often included processed food items. Thanks to the Kids Cafe program, we are able to bring the most healthful foods to those most in need.”
Kendall-Whittier Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization based in Tulsa. It is committed to the revitalization and support of the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood, which is between 11th Street, Dawson Road, Harvard Avenue and Utica Avenue.
Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is a private, non-profit organization that procures, warehouses and distributes donated grocery items to 450 partner programs in 24 counties in eastern Oklahoma. Those programs feed 50,000 people each week, equivalent to 539,000 meals per month. The Food Bank also helps to raise awareness about hunger and the role of food banking in alleviating hunger.
Feeding America is the country’s largest charitable hunger relief organization. The group boasts a network of more than 200 regional member food banks and food rescue programs.

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