SPRINGDALE, ARK. — After a sudden spike of COVID-19 cases in the Marshall Islands in August, Tyson Foods Inc. donated 50,000 masks and personal protective equipment to support the community. The country jumped from less than 100 cases in July to over 15,000 by the end of August, leading Republic of the Marshall Islands President David Kabua to issue a health disaster proclamation.

“We’re proud to support The Marshall Islands and help them stay safe,” said Hector Gonzalez, head of labor and team member relations at Tyson. “Northwest Arkansas is home to one of the largest Marshallese populations in the continental US, and the Marshall Islanders are vital members of the Tyson team and our community.”

“I would like to thank Tyson Foods once again for this generous contribution,” said Eldon Alik, Republic of the Marshall Islands consul general. “Tyson Foods have always been a great friend and supporter of the Marshallese people, not only in Arkansas but also in the islands. As it was during the pandemic in Arkansas, Tyson Foods is again stepping up to fill a need. Thank you!”

Tyson has collaborated with the Republic of the Marshall Islands on previous COVID-19 safety precautions. In March 2020, the Marshallese COVID-19 task force was established, in which Tyson representatives joined. Consul Alik toured Tyson’s facilities for food safety protocols in March 2020, and in March 2021 he received a vaccination at the Tyson Chick-n-Quick plant in Rogers, Ark.

Tyson has also supported the Marshallese community through a recent $25,000 grant given to the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese (ACOM), a nonprofit organization based in Springdale, Ark., that works to enrich the Marshallese community through education, leadership, health and culture.