MONROE — Tyson Foods is donating $40,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to support hunger relief in the Monroe area, the company recently announced.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina will use the awarded funds to support the BackPack Program at several elementary schools in Union County near Tyson’s Monroe plant. The BackPack Program supports children at risk of hunger at high-need elementary schools.

“A backpack full of nutritious, staple pantry food items will be sent home each Friday for children to have on the weekend and school holidays when school meals are not available during the 2021-2022 school year,” said Delilah C. Roseborough, Grants Manager, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, in a statement. “Tyson has been an outstanding financial donor over the past couple of years.”

The grant is a part of a national $1.5 million program by Tyson Foods that has provided 26 grants to hunger relief organizations that support 38 Tyson plant communities in 15 states.

The investments represent approximately four million pounds of food or the equivalent of 16 million servings of protein that will be distributed to address food insecurity.

“Feeding America projects that 42 million people (1 in 8), including 13 million children (1 in 6), may experience food insecurity in 2021,” said Garrett Dolan, senior manager, corporate social responsibility, Tyson Foods, in the statement. “At Tyson, we’re honored to do our part to reduce food insecurity in the communities around the country that our team members live and work.”

The grants were awarded in response to requests for proposals by food banks and hunger relief organizations seeking to improve the efficiency of their operations or provide support for urgent feeding programs.